Goodrich Castle

Goodrich Castle

Our project to explore Britain a weekend at a time continues and last week saw us spend a few days (midweek this time) in Herefordshire, courtesy of our good friends chez Surfnslide.

We like a good castle, and on our drive down stopped for lunch at Beeston Castle. The castle sits on a sandstone crag towering over the Cheshire Plain. Even on a drizzly, misty day the views were extensive; on a clear day they must be fabulous. But it was drizzly and misty for our visit, and there isn’t really a great deal of the castle still extant, so I didn’t take any pictures.

Not to worry: we were now in the Welsh Marches, a land of castles. The forecast was none too promising, so we decided to pay a visit to Goodrich Castle.

Goodrich Castle

I have very fond memories of Goodrich, from a visit with TBH about 10 years ago. One of the highlights I recall from that trip was the free audio guide to the castle.

Surfnslide AKA The Shandy Sherpa

Most of the party took one this time, and very good they were too.

Enjoying the audio guide

The stories of life in the castle from different periods during its long existence really brought the place to life. One story concerns the civil war mortar, Roaring Meg…

Roaring Meg

…with which Parliamentary forces destroyed  the North-West Tower and so brought an end to Royalist resistance and the siege of the castle. Much good it did us: but for the Jubilee, we could have been here a week earlier, when the sun was shining. (Bah humbug!)

The oldest part of the castle is the grey keep, which is climbed via a really tight and narrow, winding staircase. Since the castle sits on a hill above the wooded Wye valley there are good views from the top, only slightly marred by the great swathes of poly-tunnels which have swallowed up some of the surrounding farmland.

View from the top of the Keep

Of course, whilst everyone else was admiring the view, I was taking pictures of the pellitory-of-the-wall and English stonecrop growing from the cracks in the grey stonework.

Here’s a modest slideshow of views of the castle:

Goodrich Castle

6 thoughts on “Goodrich Castle

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Ha- ha! TBH has attempted in the past to persuade me to buy these half-mast affairs, but I’m a traditionalist – if it’s warm wear shorts, if it’s not wear trousers: no half measures!
      The galling thing is, Andy offers me sartorial tips. I make no claims to stylishness, but when a man apparently dressed as a pirate hoots in derision at your attire….well, there are limits!

      1. I hadn’t noticed the “pocket billiards” element to that photo – thanks for pointing that out Alan 🙂
        I won’t enter into the debate about which one of us is the more sartorially elegant but lets just say this. Try sitting in a car with leather seats in summer with conventional shorts and listen for that tearing sound as you leave the top layer of skin behind.
        As I say to my colleagues at work, as soon as you realise that I’m always right, the happier your life will be.
        It’s easily the best presented castle I know although some of the bigger North Wales one’s have better battlements and towers

  1. We visited Urquhart Castle recently and saw they had installed lovely new interpretation signs. But they were all in English (except for the wee bits of Gaelic). We commented on the lack of audio guides. They would be especially useful in other languages, given that about 75% of the voices we heard around us were in languages other than English. Historic Scotland are missing a trick there.

    Nice stained glass in the castle.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      We’re just getting to the point were our little one is old enough to let us listen to audio guides – he even listened to some of the commentaries himself.
      I must have driven past Urquhart Castle on more than one occasion, but I don’t remember ever having had a proper look around – odd that. (It could be my memory playing tricks on me mind.)

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