The History of Chesham House, Berkhamsted

Living Magazines Chesham House drawing by Clive Baxter

Some interesting facts have been shared with us this week by The Diamond Trust at Chesham House in Berkhamsted.

Apparently, it takes 250 tonnes of earth to obtain a 1ct polished diamond… Ah, that would explain the cost then!

The Diamond Trust recently commissioned Clive Baxter, a local artist, to produce this pen and ink drawing of Chesham House. Clive is a very gifted individual and loves a challenging project.

The picture shows Chesham House and the neighbouring 16th Century building, the Old Court House. St Peter’s Church has origins in the 13th Century. Perhaps even more interesting is that, just around the corner, in the High Street, is a building which is believed to be Britain’s oldest surviving shop. It has been dated to the late 13th Century and is believed to have been a jewellers – which one is it we wonder?!

In an area so rich in history, we also know of course, that Berkhamsted Castle dates to Norman times and it was here that King Harold’s Army, having survived the Battle of Hastings, surrendered to William the Conqueror. The scene is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. The Castle was home to Royalty for many years. Perhaps the most noteworthy inhabitant was Richard Duke of Cornwall, who happens to be the 20th Great Grandfather of Vivian Watson!