Berkhamsted is a market town located at the western boundary of Hertfordshire, approximately ten miles west of St Albans. The town sits in the valley of the River Bulborne in the Chiltern Hills. Akeman Street, the Roman road from London to Aylesbury, ran through the town, making it a popular stopping place for travellers between the capital and the northwest of England. Berkhamsted Castle was used frequently by royalty from the Conquest until 1495, after which the town went into decline; the population in 1563 is estimated at only 545 (Slater, T.R.; Goose, Nigel (2008). A County of Small Towns: the Development of Hertfordshire’s Urban Landscape to 1800. Hatfield, UK: University of Hertfordshire Press, Table 5.3). The town did begin to rebound in the seventeenth century, as King James granted a full charter of incorporation in 1618. The town and the parish of St Peter’s were closely linked, as the bailiffs and churchwardens were allowed to use the profits of the markets and fairs for poor relief and repair to the church.
“Berkhampstead St Peter: Introduction, honour, manor and castle.” A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2. Ed. William Page. London: Victoria County History, 1908. 162-171. British History Online. Web. 15 August 2019. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol2/pp162-179.