Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire
Goodrich, 6 miles North East of
B-road Off A40
Goodrich Castle stands majestically on its old red sandstone crag commanding the passage of the River Wye into a picturesque wooded valley. A fortification may have been established here in the mists of prehistory, as aerial photography has traced ditches surrounding the site which appear to represent an Iron Age fort.
The history of Goodrich castle can be traced back almost a thousand years to its original founder Godric, hence its original name of "Godric's Castle".
Access to Goodrich Castle does involve a bit of a walk, across flat well laid path, which makes it a pleasant stroll. When the castle comes into view, sat upon its rocky plateau, with its great towers and high walls, with the backdrop of stunning countryside, the view is simply stunning.
A walk round both the inside and outside the castle walls provides plenty to see, within quite a compact area too. The castle remains in a state of repair good enough to give you a good idea what it would have looked like in its hey-day.
Goodrich Castle is a must see, well worth the visit, you will not be disappointed.
~ History ~
1095 - Godric builds his castle.
1144 - William Fitz-Baderon seizes the castle during the anarchy of King Stephen's reign.
1204 - King John grants Goodrich Castle to his loyal supporter William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. As with his other castle at Chepstow, he sets about strengthening it with stone towers and walls around the keep.
1216 - The castle sees the crushing defeat of the besieging barons by William Marshall outside its walls.
1245 - Following the death at Goodrich of William's sole surviving heir, the castle passes to the crown.
1247 - The castle is granted to King Henry III's half-brother, William de Valence, who is married to Joan, co-heiress to the Marshall estates. The castle is transformed into a powerful stronghold by William and his son Aymer.
1324 - Upon Aymer's death the castle passes to his niece Elizabeth Cowyn. She is later abducted by King Edward II's favourite, Hugh Despencer the younger, and forced to resign her estates to him.
1326 - After the fall of King Edward II and the Despencers, Elizabeth's husband, Richard Talbot, seizes back the castle.
1446 - Richard's successors are awarded the title of Earls of Shrewsbury with Goodrich Castle their principle seat.
1461 - During the Wars of the Roses the 3rd Earl forfeits his estates for being a supporter of the Lancastrian cause. The castle is held by the powerful Earl William Herbert.
1500's - The Earls of Shrewsbury build other more comfortable residences away from Goodrich and reside here less often.
1616 - Upon the death of the 7th Earl, Gilbert Talbot, the unoccupied castle passes to his daughter and her husband, the Earl of Kent.
1643 - The castle is garrisoned for Parliament by the Earl of Stamford, but upon his withdrawal the Royalists are able to take possession.
1645 - As Parliament's strength grows the garrison under Sir Henry Lingden find themselves increasingly isolated, although they continue to cause serious disruptions to the Parliamentary cause in the area.
1646 - Following a surprise attack on the castle, Colonel John Birch begins a siege of the castle that is to last for more than two months. The mortor Roaring Meg causing much damage to the castle. Water supply is cut off and mining causes the north-west tower to partly collapse, Lingden and his garrison of 104 men finally surrender after a desperate fight. The castle is later slighted to prevent any further use.