This fortress stands majestically on its old red sandstone crag commanding the passage of the River Wye into the picturesque wooded valley at Symonds Yat. A fortification may have been established here in the mists of prehistory, as aerial photography has traced ditches surrounding the site which appear to represent an Iron Age fort. Within the courtyard of the castle proper stands a beautifully proportioned rectangular keep, possibly built in the very early years of the 12th century.
By 1102, it was known as Godric's Castle, after the first lord, the English then Godric. Today we know it as Goodrich Castle. The fortress played its part in the wars of Stephen and Matilda in the 12th century, and witnessed a crushing defeat of the besieging barons beneath its walls in 1216 by Earl William Marshal of Pembroke. William's five sons were all lords of the castle and died in tragic circumstances, allegedly through the curse of a Welsh prince wronged by their ancestor.In the 1260s, the castle passed to the king's half-brother, Earl William de Valance, and he renovated the defences in the most modern of styles. It is his great red sandstone castle which still graces the scenery of Herefordshire today.
In 1645 Sir Henry Lingen fought a desperate battle to hold the castle for the king, but was finally beaten. Finally, after over 300 years, the famous 'Roaring Meg' cannon has returned to the scene of its greatest triumph.
I used to come here a lot with my son when he was younger. It is a great place for kids, they can run around and burn off loads of energy whilst exploring the castle. Lee always used to ask loads of questions about the castle's history so not only did he get some great exercise he got a history lesson! Goodrich Castle is beautiful and there is a great view when you climb to the top of the tower.
Below are a selection of photographs from my visits there.