Goodrich Castle

goodrich, herefordshire, england

The remains of Goodrich castle we see it today, dates to William de Valence, who rebuilt and modernised the castle in the 13th century. William was uncle to King Edward I, which meant he has access to the royal court, but he wasn’t much liked. As a French nobleman, Valence was regarded suspiciously but his connections provided safety and patronage; King Edward sent his stonemasons to help William build Goodrich, replicating the barbican that he’d built at the Tower of London between 1275 and 1281

As the Civil war raged between supporters of King Charles I and parliamentarians, Goodrich was a stronghold for Royalist Sir Henry Lingen, who had his own army of 120 soldiers and 50 officers. Leader of the parliamentarians, Colonel John Birch had a mortar cannon forged locally, determined to rid the castle of its cavaliers. Roaring Meg as she was called, delivered shells that reduced the north west tower to rubble, allowing the roundheads access to the castle. Lingen and his men had no choice but surrender on the 31 July 1646.

The external walls were pummelled by cannon fire during the siege but during work on the castle in the 1920s, workmen uncovered many cannonballs, mostly in the SW corner of the moat, where they originally fell.