Goodrich Castle :: Shared Description

Goodrich Castle as seen today dates mostly from the C13th & 14th but with a C12th Keep. Most of the castle is constructed of Red Sandstone like the bedrock upon which it stands and rises dramatically. Originally it would have been surrounded by a moat which would have hidden this underlying bedrock which is on a promontory overlooking a crossing point on the River Wye.
The castle is quadrilateral in shape with circular towers on each corner and encloses the earlier tower keep on its southern side. It has an outer ward on its north and west sides. The dry moat is now grassed. The first documentary reference to the castle connects it with a local landowner, Godric Mappestone {from whence the name Goodrich derives} around 1100 although at this time the castle was probably no more than a simple enclosure with timber palisade and tower. Unlike the rest of the castle, the keep is of Grey Sandstone. Dating from the C12th this is the oldest extant part of the castle and, dating from the Norman period is in the Romanesque style.
During the 'Anarchy' (1138-53) - the civil war between King Steven and 'The Empress' Maud (Henry I's daughter) - the keep was at the centre of increased fortifications when the Earls of Gloucester and Hereford were disputing the area. At this time Goodrich belonged to Gilbert Fitz Gilbert de Clare. It returned to royal ownership in 1176, but 28 years later King John gave Goodrich to William Marshal (the first Earl Marshal of England, see LinkExternal link ) - Cf. Link (Chepstow Castle) and TQ3181 : Temple Church - William Marshal, 1st Earl
Some while later, Goodrich passed to William de Valence whose reconstruction at the end of the C13th created the majority of the structure which survives to this day.
In the C14th Goodrich was the principal residence of the Talbot family who founded nearby Flanesford Priory (which can be seen from the top of the keep) in 1346. The curtain walls of the barbican and outer ward were added around this time. Modifications took place over the next 200 years, but by 1616, when it was sold to the Earl of Kent, the castle was disused. However, during the Civil War it was first occupied by Parliamentarians in 1643, then in 1645 by the Royalists under Sir Henry Lingen. In March, 1646, the Roundhead army (Parliamentarians) laid siege and mined under the river side of the castle. Eventually the Royalist defenders surrendered. Goodrich was "slighted" (partly demolished) to prevent its future military use.
The castle is owned and managed by English Heritage and is open to the public - see LinkExternal link
It is a listed Ancient Monument: LinkExternal link
And is of course, Grade I listed: LinkExternal link
by Rob Farrow

25 images use this description:

SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - Western flank and former stables by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - from the southeast by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - latrine tower by Chris Allen
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle from the south east by Chris Allen
SO5720 : Goodrich Castle from the top of the keep by Chris Allen
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - Entrance causeway masonry by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - Chapel - Millennium Window by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - The Keep from within the castle by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - visitor centre by Chris Allen
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle by Chris Allen
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - The Keep from without the castle by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - View from the south by Rob Farrow
SO5720 : House Martin (Delichon urbicum) in nest by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - North Range arches by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - view over the castle from the top of the keep by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - Dungeon beneath the keep by Rob Farrow
SO5720 : Goodrich Castle - Causeway leading to former Barbican by Rob Farrow
SO5720 : Goodrich Castle by Chris Allen
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - Southeast Tower - Interior by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - Southeast Tower - Exterior by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Flanesford Priory and Priory Farm from Goodrich Castle keep by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - view northwards along the eastern flank by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - south-west tower by Chris Allen
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - Chapel - Radar Research Squadron window by Rob Farrow
SO5719 : Goodrich Castle - View through arrowslit in East Range by Rob Farrow


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Created: Mon, 2 Aug 2021, Updated: Tue, 3 Aug 2021

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2021 Rob Farrow, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.