Construction started in 1117 AD on the orders of Henry II, who was keen to defend the Severn estuary and the Welsh border. It continues to belong to the Berkeley family to this day.
The castle has been the site of many incidents, but perhaps the most famous is the imprisonment, torture and execution of Edward II.
Edward II proved to be something of a disappointment to his father, who had conquered Wales for the English, but was given a bloody nose by the Scots. Edward II was a weak king who handed a good deal of his power over to the English noblemen, but even this was not able to help him. He was horribly tortured in the castle, and only died when a red-hot poker was thrust up his rectum. It is reported that his screams could be heard as far away as the village of Berkeley and sometimes his screams can still be heard the anniversary of the King's death.