Standing in open countryside above the River Wye, Goodrich Castle is one of the finest and best preserved of all English medieval castles. Boasting a fascinating history and spectacular views from the battlements, Goodrich Castle promises a great day out for everyone. Goodrich Castle takes its name from an English landowner, Godrich, who built the first castle here in the late 11th century. Its fine Norman keep was added a generation later.
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. Its impressive defences enclosed residential buildings of great complexity and sophistication. Much of the castle was ruined by mortar fire in 1646, when Parliamentarians besieged it during the Civil War. Its Royalist garrison surrendered after a two-month siege.
Parliament used a locally made cannon called Roaring Meg to bombard the garrison into submission. The only surviving mortar from the Civil War, it is now on display in the castle courtyard. In the 18th and 19th centuries the overgrown ruins became a magnet for visitors, attracted by the Wye valley’s historic monuments and untamed scenery.