Spotlight On Goodrich Castle
Situated in a sheltered woodland area on the River Wye, Goodrich is one of the country's best-preserved medieval castles. Discover links to the English Civil War including the infamous mortar Roaring Meg which can be seen inside. Plus enjoy spectacular views across to Wales from the high battlements and towers.
Discover this gem of medieval England in the heart of the Wye Valley.
Why We Love Goodrich
"Really loved this castle! What a great find! Very interesting and liked the fact that you can actually walk round it, walk up the towers and visit the dungeon. Amazing views." Tanya, via Facebook
"Unbelievably awesome. Such attractive & wonderful scenery & magnificent river!" Jamie, via Twitter
"Goodrich is many castle-specialists' favourite site, and it's certainly one of mine. It combines the best features of a 'military' castle, with portcullises, drawbridge, arrow-loops, barbican and so on, with a very fine country house, complete with big windows, fireplaces, wash-basins and so on. Lots of visitors to castles want to know what it was like to live in one - at Goodrich, for once, we have a really good idea." Jeremy Ashbee, Head Properties Curator (right)Plan your visit
Take a Closer Look
Millennium Window, The Chapel
In the Chapel, find the beautiful stained glass window that was installed to mark the new millennium in the year 2000. Nicola Hopwood's design features the rock on which the castle stands, as well as the meandering River Wye. Three faces symbolise the three parish communities of Goodrich, Marstow and Welsh Bicknor.History and stories
What makes Goodrich special?
The site of Goodrich Castle began life as Godric's Castle, with the first castle build by Godric Mappeson in 1101-2. Nothing of this original castle remains but its name. Much of what can be seen today was built by the De Valences. But perhaps the most notorious chapter in Goodrich's story was the famous siege during the English Civil War in 1647. Originally garrisoned by the Parliamentarian forces, the castle was later held by Royalists and became the centre of Royalist activity in the area by 1645.
On the night of 9-10 March 1646, Colonel John Birch and his Parliamentarian army launched a surprise assault on the castle stables, stealing horses and burning the stables down. He later returned to stage a bloody siege, utilising the mighty mortar Roaring Meg which can still be seen in the castle today. The damage caused by Roaring Meg is clearly visible today, especially in the ruined Lady's Tower.The siege of Goodrich Castle
Reconstruction illustration of Goodrich Castle as it may have appeared in the 15th century, compared to the same view today. (© Historic England Photo Library)
Three things to look out for
- Roaring Meg: This ferocious Civil War mortar was responsible for large parts of the castle's damage during a bloody siege.
- Loo with a view: The Latrine Tower once housed the castle's toilets. Peer into the deep pit which drains into the moat, and explore the eerie dark of the nearby dungeon.
- Panoramic vistas: Head up to the top of the highest tower and enjoy unbroken countryside views for miles around.
Our picks this season
Things to do in January
A new year is here, and there are many ways to enjoy it in the places where history happened. Take a winter walk through England’s most beautiful historic landscapes, or cook up some Victorian winter recipes that are sure to keep the chill out. It’s all here in our monthly round-up.