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South side of Goodrich Castle
Grid reference: SO574193
Location: 51°52’14"N, 2°37’13"W
Local Government
Council: Herefordshire

Goodrich is a village in southern Herefordshire, close to the bounds of Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean. The River Wye flows nearby.

The village is known for its red sandstone Norman and mediaeval castle; Goodrich Castle, a 'Marcher Castle' dating to around 1101 which stands on a high spur of land commanding a strategic position above Kerne Bridge, an ancient crossing point of the Wye. The village of Goodrich grew up next to the castle

The village

Goodrich is close to the A40 trunk road which forms part of the main route between Monmouthshire and the Midlands towns, but Goodrich itself is in a sheltered, rural location. Goodrich has retained its village shop and post office together with a village hall and two public houses. The village has a tennis club with three all-weather courts and an active village cricket club.

The Coppett hill nature reserve stretches along a hill above the Wye south of Goodrich.


Goodrich church contains the tomb of the Maud Montacute, Countess of Salisbury (an altar tomb on the left side of the communion table, plain with no inscription or effigy), who was charged by Henry Bolingbroke with bringing up his son, later to become King Henry V, after the death of Mary de Bohun his first wife. The young boy was brought up at nearby Courtfield at Welsh Bicknor.

Goodrich Castle

Main article: Goodrich Castle

Goodrich Castle was first known as Castellum Godrici after Godric of Mappestone, the builder of the first castle on the site. Over time the name changed to Goodrich and the castle changed hands many times through the centuries, passing from family to family.

In 1646, near the end of the Civil War, the castle was besieged and captured from Sir Henry Lingen by Parliamentarians led by Colonel Birch. Birch used a famous cannon cast in the Forest of Dean called Roaring Meg.

The castle is now in the care of English Heritage.

Goodrich Court

Goodrich was also the location of Goodrich Court, built between 1828 and 1831 by Sir Samuel Meyrick. Goodrich Court and other nearby buildings became the evacuation home to Felsted School in the War years 1940-1945. Although demolished in the 1950s, Goodrich Court Stables and its walled garden still exists; Sculptor Jon Edgar lived and worked here[1] between 2004 and 2007. The history of Goodrich Court is documented in a book by Rosalind Lowe.[2] The author lives in the area in a house once owned by Sir Samuel Meyrick, whose collection of armoury forms the core of the original Wallace Collection.

Role in history of aesthetics

Goodrich's prominent position overlooking the River Wye meant that both Castle and Court were stopping points on the first Wye Tour of Sir William Gilpin in 1770. The trip from Ross-on-Wye to Monmouth was instrumental in the development of The Picturesque and Picturesque Tourism.


The village was served by the Ross and Monmouth Railway at Kerne Bridge station between 1873 and 1959 running through the scenic Wye Valley.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Goodrich)


  1. Visit to Goodrich Court Stables by US Professor of Art Darryl Baird 'Re-visiting the Picturesque'
  2. Sir Samuel Meyrick and Goodrich Court; Rosalind Lowe, (2005) Logaston Press ISBN 1-873827-88-1