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Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire

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Goodrich Castle, is a fortified baronial palace situated above the River Wye in the wooded valley of Symonds Yat in Herefordshire.  It is made of red sandstone and although a ruin it is an impressive site and much still exists. From the car park there is a little walk to the main entrance but as you walk across the bridge over the very deep dry moat you are drawn into a time gone by and some free flying birds who have their home in the buildings. It is a good photo opportunity, has an audio tour which gives a detailed account of its history and goings on over time and can be visited all year round.

Its History

It's first owner is believed to be the English thegn Godric, by 1102 it was known as Godric's castle. During the 11th century it played its part in the wars of Stephen and Matilda and was taken over in 1216 by Earl William Marshall of Pembroke. His 5 sons were all Lords of the castle and died in tragic circumstances. In 1260 the Kings half brother Earl William de Valance took over and he renovated the defences. In 1645 Sir Henry Lingen fought a battle trying to hold the castle for the king, but he was finally beaten. It was finally ruined by parliament in the 17th century and ever since has been a tourist attraction.

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Within the courtyard stands a beautiful square Keep, probably built by its first owner. Goodrich has one of the most complete sets of domestic buildings surviving in an English castle today. The Dining Hall where many a merriment would have taken place. Through the door at the back takes you down to the kitchen area below which had an entrance out into where the horses were kept.
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This archway was the grand entrance into the Ladies room where the ladies would retire after their meal. One of the circular corner structures next to the keep on the right. This view taken from a position that  would have been the moat in it's day.
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This view of the castle from the pay booth, the large filled in window in front is the stained glass window inside the chapel. To the right is the entrance into the courtyard.

A close-up of the stained glass window in the Castle Chapel. A good roosting area for the local bird population. GRview.jpg (32817 bytes)

A view from one of the towers overlooking the Herefordshire countryside with the River Wye curving it's way through the landscape below.

After 3 hours of wandering around, listening to it's history and taking these photographs, we left the castle walls and strolled back along the winding path to the car.

Back at the car park there is a building which has details of the wildlife in the area.

Another English Heritage site and well looked after. Surrounded by beautiful peaceful wooded countryside and the River Wye. Well worth a visit, for taking photographs.

The pictures shown here were taken prior to us having the latest digital cameras, and I must get around to updating them somewhen!

Goodrich 100 years ago

Would you like to see Goodrich Castle as it was around 100 years ago! There are 4 images on the Herefordshire page within the Photochrome Project which you can access by taking the Locations link in the side panel.

Planning Grid


Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire

Grid Reference

SO 577200 - OS Map 162

Map Link:


Getting there:

5 Miles south of Ross on Wye off the A40. From the A40 going towards Monmouth road off on the left after an impressive Gatehouse dwelling. Follow the signs into Goodrich village.


From the road taken into a large car park. From here you walk 400 yards along a drive to a paved area outside the Castle with a ticket booth, and then over a stone bridge which goes across the dry moat to the gatehouse. Grounds access via steps, gravel or paved paths. Within the castle there are many steps, staircases, uneven steps and narrow doorways.


Free large car park 300m from castle entrance.


Visitor Centre contains exhibition exploring life at the Castle from it's construction onwards. There are toilets in the car park including Disabled ones. Off the car park area there is a lower level picnic area on grass with tables. Limited Disabled access in the Castle (call for details). There is also a shop.

Cafe open from March-October and weekends only Nov-February.

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

The castle ruin from many angles, both inside the courtyard and outside from standing within the moat. From some high points and walkways within the castle walls panoramic views of the surrounding countryside which includes the Wye Valley hills and the River Wye meandering below.

What to take:

Camera, Tripod, grads for the skys

Nature watching:

There are some resident birds who nest within the walls and ruins of the castle. You may also see butterflies in the adjoining fields depending on the time you visit.

Best Times to Visit:



Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire




01600 890538





Opening times:

1 Mar-31 May and 1 Sep-31 Oct Daily 10am to 5pm

1 Jun-31 Aug Daily 10am to 6pm

1 Nov-29 Feb Wed-Sun 10am to 4pm

Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan


Free to English Heritage Members.

Non Members 4.90; Concession 3.70; Family 12.30

Photo Restrictions and Copyright:

No commercial photography is allowed in all their grounds, it is not permitted in some buildings for conservation purposes, usually a no photography symbol is present on entry to the building where this restriction is in place.

Other useful websites:


CIN Page Ref:


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