Goodrich Castle

Goodrich (or Godric’s) Castle is on the Wye south of Hereford controlling one of the routes over to Wales, and dates back to around 1100. The big square early keep was built about 50 years later, but the major later fortifications around it were put up by the famous William Marshall (d.1219), who did the same at Usk and Chepstow. William’s daughter and her husband added to it and in particular developed its residential internal buildings and fittings – and it is this that makes it particularl interesting to explore. There are plenty of fireplaces, loos, washbasins and window seats, and signs of additional wooden structures and covered walkways are easy to see. Inevitably most of the colour and life has to be imagined, despite some good interpretation boards, but the modern millennium window in the chapel gives just a taste of how vibrant life could have been – as do the “3 quarters of beef and 1½ bacons, 1½ unsalted pigs, half a boar, half a salmon, all from the castle’s store, half a carcass of beef costing 10 shillings, mutton at 15 pence, 9 kids at 3s 8d, 17 capons and hens at 2s 7d, 2 veal calves at 2s 6d, 600 eggs at 2 shillings, pigeons at 2 pence with 24 other pigeons from stores in Shrivenham, cheese at 4 pence and a halfpenny for transport by the boat, all told, 22s 6d halfpenny” that Countess Joan de Valence and her guests got through at Easter 1297!

3 thoughts on “Goodrich Castle

  1. David, I enjoyed your piece on Goodrich Castle. Please pass my regards to your brother Andrew.

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