A small town just 20 miles west of Cirencester, which nestles peacefully in the Vale of Berkeley to which it gave its name. The town is mainly Georgian and is dominated by a large 12th century Castle that claims to be the oldest inhabited castle in England.
Berkeley was the home of Edward Jenner, a doctor and immunologist who was a pioneer in the field of smallpox vaccinations. The history of vaccination science can be discovered at Jenner's House, which is now a museum dedicated to his life works. The local parish church contains his grave and the magnificent east rose stained-glass window has pictures of Christ healing the sick in Jenner's memory.
Built in the early 12th-c on the site of a Saxon fort, this magnificently well preserved castle contains many treasures collected over the years by the Berkeley family. The fine Elizabethan terraced gardens include a bowling alley from the era. The castle was witness to two key historic events: It was here that the Barons gathered to witness the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. King Edward II was held prisoner in the castle dungeon in 1327, where he was later murdered.
This fascinating museum is housed in Dr Jenner's original home in Church Lane, Berkeley. It tells the story of Edward Jenner who introduced the first vaccination for smallpox. Science and history exhibits and guided tours.