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Goodrich Castle stands majestically on a wooded hill commanding the passage of the River Wye into the picturesque valley of Symonds Yat.
Goodrich Castle was begun in the late 11th century, by the English landowner Godric who gave it his name. A generation later the splendidly preserved square keep which still forms its core was added, probably in the time of Richard ‘Strongbow’ de Clare, Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Goodrich 1148-76. Under King Richard the Lionheart, Goodrich was granted along with the earldom of Pembroke to the famous William Marshal, a great castle builder who may have initiated work on the inner ward. Each of the Marshal’s four sons inherited the fortress in turn, the last dying childless at Goodrich in 1245. Thereafter the fortress and earldom passed to Henry III’s half-brother, William de Valance, who rebuilt its defences and living quarters in the most up-to-date style.
Goodrich Castle still boasts one of the most complete sets of medieval domestic buildings surviving in any English castle. William’s widow Countess Joan frequently stayed here with an entourage of up to 200, entertaining her relations and friends in the most lavish style.
During the Civil War, Goodrich was held successively by both sides, Sir Henry Lingen’s Royalists eventually surrendered in 1646 under threats of undermining and a deadly Parliamentarian mortar.
The famous ‘Roaring Meg’, the only surviving Civil War mortar, has returned to the castle after 350 years. The visitor centre features an exhibition exploring life at the castle from its late 11th century origins until its dramatic fall in 1646, including Civil War artefacts.
Disabled access (limited, please call for details or ask the Visitor Centre on arrival).
The tearoom will close 30 minutes before the site closes.
28 Mar-30 Sep, daily 10am-6pm
1 Oct-1 Nov, daily 10am-5pm
2 Nov-14 Feb, Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm
15-19 Feb, daily 10am-4pm
20 Feb-24 Mar, Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm
24-26 Dec, 31 Dec, 1 Jan Closed
Last admission half an hour before closing.
Adult £6.60 /Conc £6.00/ Child £4.00 / Family £17.20
- Coach parties accepted
- English Heritage Property
- Education/study area
- Facilities for educational visits
- Gift shop
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Public toilets
- Regional Tourist Board Member
- Accepts groups
- Children welcome