Goodrich Castle
Goodrich Castle is a now ruinous Norman medieval castle situated to the north of the village of Goodrich in Herefordshire, England between Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye ( grid reference SO579199).

It stands on a high rocky spur overlooking the River Wye and commanded a crossing of the river, known as Walesford or Walford, Ross-on-Wye. This separates England from Wales.

The castle seems to have been in existence by the late 11th century or the early 12th century, when it was known as Godric’s Castle, named probably after Godric of Mappestone. In 1144, William Fitz Osbern seized the castle during the anarchy of the reign of Stephen. During this time, the small Norman keep to the south of the entrance gate was built by Gilbert de Clare. During the following reign, the castle and manor were held by the Crown. In 1203, King John granted the castle and manor to William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. When the last of his five sons died, the castle reverted to the Crown again. In 1247, Goodrich passed by marriage to William de Valence, half brother to Henry III. William and his son Aymer made many alterations to the castle. Following the death of Aymer de Valence in 1323, the castle passed, again by marriage, to Richard, 2nd Baron Talbot, in 1326. For many years, Goodrich was home to the Talbots, who were made Earls of Shrewsbury in the 15th century. Following the Wars of the Roses, in 1460 on the defeat of the Lancastrians and the forfeiture of the castle, Goodrich was granted to the Yorkist William Herbert. However, John, the 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury, made his peace with the king and regained control of his lands before his death in 1473. In 1616, the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury died with no male heir. Goodrich came into the hands of Henry Grey, Earl of Kent, and at this point the castle was no longer occupied.

English Civil War
In 1643, during the Civil War, the Earl of Stamford garrisoned the castle for Parliament. In 1645, the castle became the scene of one of the most desperate sieges in Herefordshire. The siege continued into 1646. After being in the hands of Parliament, it was later occupied by a garrison led by the Royalist Sir Henry Lingen. It was attacked by Colonels John Birch and Kyrle. Colonel Birch built an enormous mortar that was called ' Roaring Meg'. Eventually the Royalists surrendered. In 1647, the castle was slighted, which made it virtually uninhabitable and prohibited re-fortification.

Recent history
The castle then remained with the Earls of Kent until 1740, when it was sold to Admiral Thomas Griffin. It later passed through various hands until 1920, when it was placed with the Commissioner of Works.

Substantial remains still exist and are managed by English Heritage. 'Roaring Meg' has been returned to the site.

Building Activity

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