Goodrich Castle

  • Goodrich, Herefordshire.
  • Scheduled Monument.
  • Grade I Listed Building.
  • OSGB – SO 57713 19976.


Quadrangular Medieval castle. The north and west sides have an outer ward. The moat is dry.

A chapel was situated in the north east tower. The main Hall was situated in the courtyard. Buttresses protected the keep walls at the angles. A corridor in the north curtain wall lead to the garderobe. The courtyard measured 21.3 m square and had buildings placed around the inner ward. The well was situated at the northern end of the courtyard. Two towers had living quarters on the top floor. The kitchen was next to the keep and the Great Hall. The Great Hall measured 20 m by 8.2 m and had private chambers, an entrance to the Solar and a small chapel. Part of a natural chasm forms a portion of the moat.

Built by the Fitz Baderons.

Passed to the Valence family.

Keep used as a prison.


1100                            c: First mentioned.

1101-1102                   Took its name from Godric Mapperson.

1138-1153                   Built of stone.

1144                            Seized by William Fitz Osbern during the Anarchy.

1160-1270                   Developed from a castle for defence to an administration centre.

1160-1270                   c: Keep dates from. It measured 25ft square, had three floors with the entrance at first floor level. A staircase was situated in the north west corner. Entrance to the basement was via a trap door.

1204                            King John gave the castle to William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke and half brother of Henry III, who built the stone walls and towers.

1245                            William Marshall’s son, William died at the castle.

1247                            Owned by William de Valance who undertook a large rebuilding programme

1272-1307                   Between: Had new curtain towers, Great Hall, gatehouse and Barbican.

13 C                            At the eastern side of the courtyard a long rectangular building was added and later heightened. Dating from: seat in the south wall of the chapel.

1300                            c: The gatehouse was built at the north east tower of the castle, and had a 50ft long vaulted corridor with a portcullis at each end. A chamber opened out from the vaulted corridor in the gatehouse. Courtyard area built.

1323                            Aymer de Valence died and the castle went to his niece, Elizabeth Comyn, who was forced to give it to Hugh Despenser.

1326                            Richard, 2nd Baron Talbot, took back the castle, in his wife’s name.

1331-1355                   Lord Talbot was summoned to Parliament.

1356                            Gilbert Talbot inherited the castle.

14 C                            Barbican and drawbridge. Seat of the Talbot family. A doorway was made in the north wall of the Great Hall.

14-15 C                       The keep entrance at first floor level was blocked/replaced with a window and a new one placed at ground floor level.

1453                            Gilbert Talbot was killed at the Battle of Chatillan.

1460                            Was granted to William Herbert, a Yorkist.

*                                  Given to John, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury.

1473                            John, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury died.

15 C                            A two storey building was added between the Solar and the gatehouse. A second storey was added to the rectangular building on the eastern side of the courtyard. This included a fireplace. Windows placed in the east and west walls of the chapel.

1616                            The 7th earl of Shrewsbury died without issue and the castle passed to Henry Grey, Earl of Kent. It was left unoccupied.

1643                            Held by Parliament. The Earl of Stamford garrisoned the castle.

1645                            Held by Royalists.

1646                            Was taken by Royalist Sir Henry Lingen. Colonal Birch, Colonal Kyrle and 500 foot and mounted soldiers tried to take it back but they only managed to burn the stables.

1646                            31st July: Roundheads laid siege to the castle and they mined under the walls on the river side. The castle surrendered and it was partially demolished.

1646                            25th August: Colonal Birch requested the destruction of the castle, but it was only slighted.

1740                            The Earl of Kent sold it to Admiral Thomas Griffen.

1920                            Given to the Commissioner of Works.

1980’s                         Restored.

1984                            Owned by English Heritage.

1985                            Excavated by City of Hereford Archaeological Committee.

1988                            Watching Brief by City of Hereford Archaeological Committee.

1990                            Architectural Survey by City of Hereford Archaeological Unit

1996                            Excavated by City of Hereford Archaeological Committee.

2002-2006                   Part of the Gloucestershire National Mapping Programme.


Goodrich Castle Image by Raik Thorstad from Pixabay
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