Goodrich Castle

Herefordshire, England

City/Town/Village: Goodrich
District: County of Herefordshire
County: Herefordshire
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8746, -2.61373
Postcode: HR9 6HY
(postcode is for sat-nav purposes only, and may not represent the actual address of the castle)


English Heritage

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Goodrich stands majestically on a wooded hill commanding the passage of the River Wye into the picturesque valley of Symonds Yat. The castle was begun in the late 11th century, by the English thegn Godric who gave it his name. A generation later the splendidly preserved square keep which still forms its core was added, probably in the time of Richard 'Strongbow' de Clare, Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Goodrich 1148-76. Under King Richard the Lionheart, Goodrich was granted along with the earldom of Pembroke to the famous William Marshal, a great castle builder who may have initiated work on the inner ward. Each of the Marshal's four sons inherited the fortress in turn, the last dying childless at Goodrich in 1245. Thereafter the fortress and earldom passed to Henry VIII's half-brother, William de Valance, who rebuilt its defences and living quarters in the most up-to-date style. Goodrich still boasts one of the most complete sets of medieval domestic buildings surviving in any English castle. William's widow Countess Joan frequently stayed here with an entourage of up to 200, entertaining her relations and friends in the most lavish style. During the Civil War, Goodrich was held successively by both sides, Sir Henry Lingen's Royalists eventually surrendered in 1646 under threats of undermining and a deadly Parliamentarian mortar. The famous 'Roaring Meg', the only surviving Civil War mortar, has returned to the castle after 350 years. The visitor centre features an exhibition exploring life at the castle from its late 11th century origins until its dramatic fall in 1646, including Civil War artefacts.
Adults: £5.50
Children: £2.80
Concessions: £4.70
EH Member Cost: Free

Information from English Heritage website

Goodrich Castle is a Listed Building. Here's what the official description says about it:

SO 52 SE

3/46 Goodrich Castle


Castle. C12 keep, C13 east curtain and foundations of south-west tower,
remainder dates from early C14 rebuilding. Later C14 outer ward and barbican.
Coursed and squared red sandstone rubble, grey sandstone keep. Ashlar dress-
ings. Outer ward to west and to north with traces of outer walls and towers
to south-west and to north-west and large semi-circular fronted barbican to
north-east with two-span bridge and causeway connecting with gatehouse; castle
basically rectangular in plan with curtain walls and circular towers rising
from spurred square bases to south-east, south-west and north-west corners,
gatehouse and chapel tower to north-east, inner courtyard; Norman keep to
south, former great hall to west, solar to north, chapel within gatehouse
complex and traces of further domestic buildings to east. Towers:formerly
of three stages, traces of roll moulding below lost parapet to south-east
tower, embrasures and loop windows with square-headed surrounds, curtain
walls with traces of cruciform shaped loop windows to east wall and further
embrasures. Gatehouse: three stages, vaulted gateway with two portcullis grooves
at either end, main archway with segmental pointed head and rounded jambs.
Chapel tower: to south side of gatehouse,three stages with C15 window of
3-trefoil headed lights to east of first floor of Chapel, similar window to
west with hoodmould, further single-light trefoil headed windows, loops light
slim octagonal stair tower to north-west corner of chapel tower. Keep: three
stages with pilaster buttresses and clasping buttresses, chevron embellished
string course at second floor level, loops light staircase in north-west
corner, 2-light windows with semi-circular headed surrounds and hoodmould,
engaged shafts to responds with scalloped impost, window on first floor of
east face possibly originally a doorway, segmental-pointed doorway on ground
floor: Great Hall: transomed trefoil-headed lights to outer wall, and large
fireplace with corbelled hood. The castle is moated to the south and east.
"Extensive and remarkably complete border castle and an important example of
Military Architecture" (Radford). From the C14 it belonged to the Talbot
family, it changed allegiances during the Civil War and was eventually
besieged and taken in 1646. The castle has since remained a ruin and is
in the guardianship of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.
Scheduled Ancient Monument. (BoE; RCHM Vol I, p 74/78; DoE Guidebook).

Listing NGR: SO5768519990

Information from British Listed Buildings

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