Goodrich Castle

Goodrich Castle: Where Legends and Landscapes Converge

LocationHerefordshire, England (Google Map Location)
OwnershipEnglish Heritage
Official WebsiteGoodrich Castle Official Website
Open to VisitorsYes (Weddings and Filming)

This Castle is located in Herefordshire, England, sits atop a hill with stunning views of the Wye Valley. Its ruins offer a glimpse into the rich history of the medieval stronghold, making it a popular destination for history enthusiasts and travellers. From its strategic location to its architectural marvels and role in the English Civil War, Goodrich Castle is a must-visit site that captures the essence of a bygone era.

Goodrich Castle History

Goodrich Castle
Goodrich Castle, By  Nessy-Pic, is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Goodrich Castle has a rich history dating back to the late 11th century when it was constructed by the Anglo-Norman nobleman, Godric of Mappestone. Originally built as a timber fortification, it was later transformed into a powerful stone fortress that underwent significant changes over time. 

The castle played a crucial role in various notable events and periods of history, serving as a strategic defence against Welsh attacks and border disputes during the 12th and 13th centuries. It was held by prominent figures such as William Marshal, the Earl of Pembroke, and Hubert de Burgh, the powerful Chief Justiciar of England. In the 17th century, during the English Civil War, Goodrich Castle became a battleground, with the Royalist forces holding it and undergoing a siege by Parliamentary troops in 1646. 

Eventually, the castle fell to the Parliamentarians and was intentionally slighted to prevent its further military use. Despite its partial destruction in the Civil War, Goodrich Castle remains an imposing and picturesque landmark, having undergone significant changes and transformations throughout its history, with its defences continually strengthened to adapt to changing military tactics and technologies.

Goodrich Castle Architecture

Goodrich Castle’s architecture was designed to meet the defensive needs of its time, featuring strong curtain walls, an imposing gatehouse, and the central tower known as the keep. A unique aspect of the castle is its well-preserved labyrinthine passageways within the walls, allowing defenders to navigate the fortress discreetly. The castle’s construction techniques include the use of high-quality ashlar masonry, creating an impressive visual appeal. The castle complex comprises key buildings and structures such as the great hall for feasts and gatherings and the chapel for religious services. The keep served as the lord’s residence and the last line of defence during sieges. Goodrich Castle is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, offering stunning views of the picturesque River Wye and the lush Herefordshire countryside.

Goodrich Castle Interesting Facts (1)

Let’s delve into some of the notable aspects and trivia associated with Goodrich Castle:

  1. Birthplace of John Talbot: One of the most notable figures associated with Goodrich Castle is John Talbot, the renowned military leader and Earl of Shrewsbury. Talbot, who became the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury in 1442, was born at Goodrich Castle in 1384. He played a significant role in the Hundred Years’ War and is known for his bravery and military prowess.
  1. Civil War Stronghold: Goodrich Castle witnessed intense action during the English Civil War in the 17th century. It was one of the last Royalist strongholds to surrender to Parliamentary forces. The castle was besieged twice, enduring substantial damage during the conflict. The scars of this turbulent era can still be seen on its battered walls.
  1. Chilling Dungeon: Within the depths of Goodrich Castle lies a grim reminder of its past—a dark and chilling dungeon. This underground chamber held prisoners during the castle’s tumultuous history. Visitors can explore this eerie space and imagine the despair of those confined within its cold, stone walls.
  1. Ghostly Legends: Goodrich Castle has its fair share of ghostly legends and tales, as with many ancient castles. One such story involves the apparition of a lady dressed in white, said to be the ghost of Alice Birch, the wife of a former owner. Visitors have reported seeing her wandering through the ruins, lending an air of mystery and intrigue to the castle’s atmosphere.
  1. Literary Inspiration: Goodrich Castle’s picturesque setting and historical significance have inspired numerous artists and writers. The renowned English poet William Wordsworth mentioned the castle in his sonnet “Goodrich Castle,” which reflects upon its grandeur and the passage of time. This literary tribute immortalizes the castle’s enduring appeal.

Hotels Near Goodrich Castle

Here are some suggestions:

  1. The Hostelrie at Goodrich: Situated just a stone’s throw away from this Castle, The Hostelrie is a charming inn that provides a delightful retreat for visitors. With its picturesque location in the heart of the village, guests can enjoy scenic views of the castle and the stunning countryside.
  1. The Royal Lodge: Nestled amidst the peaceful Wye Valley, The Royal Lodge offers a tranquil escape for those seeking relaxation after exploring Goodrich Castle. This elegant hotel is located within a short distance from the castle and boasts beautiful gardens and panoramic views of the surrounding area. 
  1. The Castle Lodge Hotel: Conveniently positioned in the nearby town of Ross-on-Wye, The Castle Lodge Hotel is an excellent choice for visitors who want a comfortable stay while still close to Goodrich Castle. The hotel offers spacious rooms, some with views of the river, amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a restaurant serving locally sourced dishes, and a cosy lounge area. 


Where is Goodrich Castle located?

Goodrich Castle is in Herefordshire, England. It’s near the village of Goodrich, 6 miles southwest of Ross-on-Wye and 15 miles south of Hereford. The castle sits on a high sandstone outcrop and overlooks the River Wye and the surrounding countryside.

Who owns Goodrich Castle?

Goodrich Castle is owned and managed by English Heritage, a charitable organization that cares for historic sites and buildings in England. English Heritage acquired the castle in the 1920s and has since been responsible for its preservation, maintenance, and opening to the public. 

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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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