History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The original Goodrich Castle was thus a very a simple structure, but that would change in 1204 after King John granted Goodrich to William Marshall, Earl of Permbroke and one of the most powerful knights of medieval England. A stone curtain wall was built to enclose the site, with mural towers for added defense. But the major work at Goodrich took place under a later Earl of Pembroke, William de Valence. De Valence rebuilt the earlier castle in the style of Edward I's concentric castles in north Wales, a style that is rare in England.
The Castle Defenses
De Valence's 'new look' Goodrich was square, with a rock-cut ditch providing extra defenses to the south and east. A massive curtain wall surrounds the hilltop, with large round towers at three corners and a massive gatehouse at the fourth. The towers rise from wide spurs, creating a cylinder shape with an enlarged base. This would have made a direct attack at ground level almost impossible and countered any attempt to undermine the walls. William de Valence's son Aymer added a concentric outer wall to the north and west, and a semi-circular barbican to protect the gatehouse. A second ditch protected the barbican, so that an attacking force would have had to advance at an angle, exposed to fire from the curtain wall. If they managed to take the barbican attackers would then have to cross the inner ditch causeway and break through two portcullises, two gates, and a drawbridge protecting the gatehouse passage.
It is easy to say that this or that castle is 'one of the finest' in the region, or 'not to be missed', but in the case of Goodrich it really is one of the best examples of a medieval castle in England. Though not large, the compact site is enormously interesting, and much of the castle defenses survive; enough to really help us visualise what an imposing and impressive place it must have been. It really is not to be missed!
About Goodrich Castle
Address: Castle Lane, Goodrich, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England, HR9 6HY
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: 5 m S Ross-on-Wye, off A40
Website: Goodrich Castle
Phone: 01600 890 538
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
OS: SO575 193
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Historic Time Periods:
Find other attractions tagged with:
12th century (Time Period) - 13th century (Time Period) - castle (Architecture) - Civil War (Architecture) - Civil War (Architecture) - Domesday Book (Historical Reference) - Earl of Pembroke (Historical Reference) - Edward I (Person) - Gilbert de Clare (Person) - Henry II (Person) - Iron Age (Architecture) - King John (Person) - Medieval (Time Period) - Norman (Architecture) - Parliamentary (Historical Reference) - Royalist (Person) - Stephen and Maud (Person) - William Marshall (Person) -
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Whitchurch, St Dubricius Church - 1.5 miles (Historic Church)
Llangrove, Christ's Church - 2.9 miles (Historic Church)
Llangarron, St Deinst church - 3 miles (Historic Church)
Wilton Castle - 3.3 miles (Castle)
Market House Heritage Centre - 3.4 miles (Historic Building)
Ross-on-Wye, St Mary's Church - 3.4 miles (Historic Church)
Hentland, St Dubricius Church - 4.8 miles (Historic Church)
Dixton, St Peter's Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Goodrich Castle: