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Historic England Research Records

Goodrich Castle

Hob Uid: 109566
Location :
County of Herefordshire
Goodrich
Grid Ref : SO5770619980
Summary : The remains of Goodrich Castle overlooking a crossing point on the River Wye. The quadrangular castle encloses an earlier tower keep and has an outer ward on its north and west sides. It has a substantial dry moat on the south and east sides, and the drawbridge and gatehouse are defended by an outwork (barbican). In the Domesday Book of 1086 land is recorded as belonging to Godric Mappeson, although the first documentary evidence of 'Godric's castle' dates to 1101-2. It may have been sited on an earlier Iron Age hillfort or promontory fort, and the earthworks around the castle may date to this period. The original castle was probably a simple enclosure with timber palisade and tower, although no remains survive. The stone keep became the focal point for reorganised defences during or shortly after the war between Stephen and Matilda, 1138-53, and ownership transferred to Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare. The keep is likely to have been built around this time; however, nothing of the rest of the castle from this period survives today. In 1204 King John gave Goodrich to William Marshall, who was probably responsible for the construction of the first stone wall and towers around the keep. The castle came into the ownership of William de Valence and substantial rebuilding took place before his death in 1296; the majority of the present structure dates to this period. The old keep subsequently became a prison, and three additional ranges were built. Goodrich was the principal residence of the Talbot family in the 14th century, and the curtain walls of the barbican and outer ward also date to this period. During the Civil War the Roundheads laid siege and mined under the castle, which eventually led to its surrender. It was then partly demolished and the main timbers and lead roofs removed. The castle was placed in guardianship in the 1920s and has since undergone restoration. It is now in the care of English Heritage.
More information : (SO 577199) Goodrich Castle (NR). (Remains of) (NAT)
Hall (NR) Tower (NR) Tower (NR) Barbican (NR). (1)

Goodrich Castle and Moat. Walling of local sandstone rubble and ashlar. Square Keep c.1160-70. enclosing wall with angle-towers added in early 13th century, E. curtain and foundations of SW tower survive. Castle extensively rebuilt c.1300, with the construction of the extant curtain walling and angle-towers, gatehouse, bridge, chapel and internal domestic buildings. Outer ward with barbican added during 14th century, minor alterations on 15th century. Defences 'slighted' by order of parliament during the Civil War, and rendered uninhabitable. The castle is the most extensive ruin of its class in the county, and is an important example of military architecture. (2)

Extensive architectural remains 12th - 16th centuries. (see MPBW Guide). (3)

Goodrich Castle, under the guardianship of the MPBW, who, over the years, have carried out extensive preservation work. In excellent order and as described in the official guide book.
Open to the public.
Published 1:2500 survey revised. (4)

Goodrich Castle. C12 keep, C13 east curtain and foundations of south-west tower, remainder dates from early C14 rebuilding. Later C14 outer ward and barbican. Coursed and squared red sandstone rubble, grey sandstone keep. Ashlar dressings. Outer ward to west and to north with traces of outer walls and towers to south-west and to north-west and large semi-circular fronted barbican to north-east with two-span bridge and causeway connecting with gatehouse; castle basically rectangular in plan with curtain walls and circular towers rising from spurred square bases to south-east, south-west and north-west corners, gatehouse and chapel tower to north-east, inner courtyard; Norman keep to south, former great hall to west, solar to north, chapel within gatehouse complex and traces of further domestic buildings to east. Towers: formerly of three stages, traces of roll moulding below lost parapet to south-east tower, embrasures and loop windows with square-headed surrounds, curtain walls with traces of cruciform shaped loop windows to east wall and further embrasures. Gatehouse: three stages, vaulted gateway with two porcullis grooves at either end, main archway with segmental pointed head and rounded jambs. Chapel tower: to south side of gatehouse, three stage with C15 window of 3-trefoil headed lights to east of first floor of Chapel, similar window to west with hoodmould, further single-light trefoil headed window, loops light slim octagonal stair tower to north-west corner of chapel tower. Keep: three stages with pilaster buttresses and clasping buttresses, chevron embellished strong course at second floor level, loops light staircase in north-west corner, 2-light windows with semi-circular headed surrounds and hoodmould, engaged shafts to responds with scalloped impost, window on first floor of east face possibly originally a doorway, segmental-pointed doorway on ground floor. Great Hall: transomed trefoil-headed lights to outer wall, and large fireplace with corbelled hood. The castle is moated to the south and east. "Extensive and remarkably complete border castle and an important example of Military Architecture" (Radford). From the C14 it belonged to the Talbot family, it changed allegiances during the Civil War and was eventually besieged and taken in 1646. The castle has since remained a ruin and is in the guardianship of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Scheduled Ancient Monument. (BoE; RCHM Vol I, p 74/78; DoE Guidebook). (5)

Placed under the guardianship of the Commissioners of Works in 1920 by the owner, Mrs Bosanquet, and now maintained by English Heritage. [Descriptive guidebook reset for publication in 1984]. (6)

Foundations of SW tower reinforced in timber during construction in the early 13th century. (7)

SO 577200. Goodrich. "Evidently founded in the 11th century... the name appears to be taken from Godric Mappesone, a Domesday Proprietor". It was known as 'Castellum Godrici in 1101-2. (8-9)

Detailed measured survey of interiors of SW and SE, towers and the first-floor rooms above the chapel and gatehouse passage, and the preparation of a full photographic record, undertaken 1982-84 by the City of Hereford Archaeology Committee in advance of consolidation works, continued in 1985 with the survey of the ground floor interiors of the chapel/gatehouse tower. (10-11)

Report of survey work undertaken 1982-85, with finished plans and photographic record, prepared by the City of Hereford Archaeology Committee for HBMC. (12)

Scheduled listing. (13)

Additional reference. (14)

Listed by Shoesmith. (15)

The upstanding remains of Goodrich Castle, as described above by source 5, are also visible on aerial photographs. (16)

A history and description of the castle is presented in the guidebook. (17)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1955
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire. Volume I: south-west
Source details :
Page(s) : 74-78
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 149
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 30 (1986)
Source Number : 12
Source : Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club : transactions
Source details :
Page(s) : 312
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 45 (1983-87)
Source Number : 13
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 31-Jan-97
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : Ordnance Survey guide to castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 125
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : A guide to castles and moated sites in Herefordshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 109-119
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.2
Source Number : 16
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1652 4037-8 11-JUL-1947
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : Goodrich Castle
Source details : English Heritage Guidebooks
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : MPBW. 1958. Goodrich Castle
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 17-OCT-72
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Herefordshire 03/07/1985
Page(s) : 7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 413
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ralegh Radford CA. 1987. English Heritage Guidebook to Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Society of Antiquaries of London occasional papers
Source details : Wilcox RP. Timber and Iron Reinforcement in Early Buildings
Page(s) : 28, 31
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2 (1981)
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Robinson CJ Rev. 1869. The Castles of Herefordshire
Page(s) : 65-70
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 206, 216
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1 (1983)
Source Number : 10
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 184
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 29 (1985)

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Hillfort
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : First documentary evidence of the castle
Monument End Date : 1102
Monument Start Date : 1101
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built mid-12th century
Monument End Date : 1166
Monument Start Date : 1133
Monument Type : Tower Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Stone wall and towers
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1204
Monument Type : Curtain Wall, Tower, Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Remodelled circa 1300
Monument End Date : 1310
Monument Start Date : 1291
Monument Type : Tower Keep, Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 14th century additions
Monument End Date : 1400
Monument Start Date : 1301
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle, Curtain Wall, Moat, Angle Tower, Gatehouse, Bridge, Chapel, Great Hall, Concentric Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Held in 1403
Monument End Date : 1403
Monument Start Date : 1403
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Slighted 1646
Monument End Date : 1646
Monument Start Date : 1646
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Rebuilt 1920s-30s
Monument End Date : 1939
Monument Start Date : 1920
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Restored 1980s
Monument End Date : 1989
Monument Start Date : 1980
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 81285
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 27547
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 153802
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 341
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Herefordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 349
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SO 51 NE 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1377387
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SO 51 NE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-10-17
End Date : 1972-10-17
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE KEEP, GOODRICH CASTLE, GOODRICH
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE GREAT HALL, GOODRICH CASTLE, GOODRICH.
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: GLOUCESTERSHIRE NMP (NORTH COTSWOLDS AND FOREST OF DEAN)
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE: SOLAR ARCH
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE: SOLAR ARCH
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE DUNGEON
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GOODRICH CASTLE
Activity type : THEMATIC SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31