Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (1415–1495) was married to Richard Duke of York (1411–1460) and was mother to two English kings: Edward IV and Richard III
Edward IV granted the castle and manor to Cecily in 1469 and it became her principal home from 1471. By then she was 56 years old and had already led an exceptionally dramatic life. Notably, she was the the only major figure to live right through the Wars of the Roses.
As well as being influential in the royal court, she also had a significant presence in the town of Berkhamsted. She appointed the Rector of St Peter’s Parish Church and employed local parishioners, including Robert Incent, who served as her secretary
After her death, Cecily Neville was buried at the Church of St Mary and All Saints in Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire. She was the last royal resident at Berkhamsted Castle, and her death marked the end of over 400 years of royal associations with Berkhamsted Castle. After her passing, the Castle was all but forgotten as a royal landholding and eventually fell into ruin.