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