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Standing in scenic countryside above the River Wye, Goodrich Castle is one of the finest and best preserved of all English medieval castles. Boasting a remarkable history and unforgettable views from the battlements, it promises a great day out for all the family.
The life of the castle itself began in the 11th century, soon after the Norman Conquest. Strategically placed along the border, Goodrich remained in royal hands until 1204 – when King John awarded it to the famous William Marshal. Sir William was honoured as 'the best knight in all the world' and made his fame and fortune by winning prizes at tournaments.
When William de Valence, a French nobleman, rebuilt the castle in the late 13th century, he created one of the most up-to-date castles of his day. But sadly, much of the castle was ruined in a siege of 1646, when Parliamentarians attacked it during the Civil War. Parliament used a locally made cannon called ‘Roaring Meg’ to bombard the garrison into submission. The only surviving mortar from the Civil War, Meg is now on display in the castle courtyard.
The siege left Goodrich as one of the most picturesque castle ruins in the country. It provides the perfect spot for an adventure, with a popular tearoom and family events. Climb the ruins of the castle towers, creep under historic arches and brave the dungeon if you dare. A day out for the history books.
Family events in the school holidays
The audio guide and free children’s game
Tales of ghostly lovers, swept into the river
The gruesome dungeon and the 'murder holes' built into the castle walls