About Goodrich Castle
Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire is one of the most picturesque medieval ruins in the UK. Standing at the peak of a scenic woodland hilltop, this Norman fortification has attracted tourists to view its ethereal remains since the 18th century.
The first recorded structure to be built on the Goodrich Castle site was constructed in the late 11th century by an Anglo-Saxon thegn who retained his lands after the Norman Conquest. However, it is believed that the site may have been used as a fortification for far longer.
The original wooden structure was replaced by a stone fort in the mid-12th century and the living quarters and fortifications of Goodrich Castle were extended over the next 100 years.
Goodrich Castle is perhaps best known for the part it played during the English Civil War, when it became the focus of a bitter siege between Royalist and Parliamentarian forces. Occupied by a Royalist garrison at the start of the war, Goodrich Castle was used as a base for attacks on Parliamentarian positions in the local area.
As the war turned however, Parliamentarian forces targeted Goodrich and a siege began in 1646. After building trenches and utilising the famous ‘Roaring Meg’ mortar, the Parliamentarians began to wreak heavy damage upon Goodrich Castle and the defending garrison was forced to surrender.
After the war, although Goodrich Castle was not destroyed, it was intentionally damaged to ensure it could no longer serve as a stronghold.
By the late 18th century, Goodrich Castle was seen as a idyllic ruin and was therefore never fully restored.
Today the Goodrich Castle site is run by English Heritage and visitors can wander through the ruins and even see the infamous ‘Roaring Meg’ mortar, which was moved to the site by Herefordshire Council. An audio tour is available and the views from the castle are a must-see.
The visitor’s centre also contains information about the history of Goodrich Castle and artefacts from the site. Various special events are also held at Goodrich throughout the year, check the official website for further information.