Goodrich Castle - 'The ghostly couple that return'
Haunted Goodrich Castle stands beautifully over the Wye valley and is overlooking the breath taking River Wye which is one of the key points of entry into Wales.
The castle itself is incredibly still in very good condition and with it's deep, dry moat cut through the red sandstone, it's high gatehouse and towers and it's Norman keep it really is as though you are stepping into history when you visit this treasured castle.
Goodrich is a Tourist hot spot and has many visitors all year round. The castle is also well known for it's ghostly love story.
The castle itself was originally known as 'Godric' Castle, it was apparently owned by a man named Godric Mapplestone which is mentioned in the Domesday Book, it is believed that Godric founded the castle in 1101 and since that date the castle has been passed through many hands and families .
The castle goes back centuries and has certainly had it's fair share of battles, wars and conflict over the years. The castle was originally made of earth and timber and in the mid to late 12th century the Normans replaced this to a stone keep to strengthen the castle, by the late 12th century Goodrich was no longer in the front line of defence with the Welsh.
By 1200 Goodrich had reverted to the crown, King John granted it to William Marshall who made changes to the castle over the years. William died in 1219 and then the castle was passed over to one of his sons. After years of battling and defending the castle it was then handed over to, by marriage to William de Valence who later became the Earl of Pembroke. William and his son began rebuilding the castle.
William died in 1296 before finishing his work on Goodrich.Aymer who was the younger son of William and Joan succeeded to the title and estates in 1307, he became a fine soldier and stayed loyal to his king, he died in France in 1324.
The castle then went to Aymer's niece Elizabeth Comyn who married a Shropshire knight named Richard Talbot who then received ownership of Goodrich. From the late 15th century the castle was no longer the Talbot's home it was passed by marriage to Henry Grey of Kent then it was handed to Royalists.
In 1645 the castle was held by a royalist named Sir Henry Lingen, due to a later dispute and attack Sir Henry Lingen surrendered and gave up the castle. Goodrich was bought by Admiral Griffin on the death of the Duke of Kent in 1740.
Goodrich Court was finished in 1831 and it housed paintings and medieval armour, the court was demolished in this century.
The keep of the castle was built in the 1160's and incredibly is the smallest keep of it's type in England . It's walls are 2.2m thick and the keep is 16.5 m high.
By the early 20th century Goodrich castle was very badly overgrown and was not looking in a glorious condition. In 1920 the ruin was then put into guardianship of the Commissioners of Works and soon after the castle was restored ,it is now in the care of the English Heritage.
The love story linked with the castle is of Alice Birch who was the niece of parliamentarian Colonel, Alice fell madly in love with Charles Clifford who was a royalist. In the year of 1645 her and her lover were hiding out at the castle but the Parliamentarians who were led by her uncle, besieged Goodrich Castle so franticly Alice and Charles escaped on horseback on a stormy night , they sadly missed the ford and drowned in the River Wye.
Their hallowing screams and shrieks of terror can be heard coming from the river at night and people have claimed to have seen their ghostly bodies drowning in the river.
Local legend says that every Anniversary of their death they return and haunt the castle, they have also been spotted around the castle's walls and the foot of the ruins.
Goodrich Castle has a magnificent structure and with its ghostly reputation it is definitely a place to visit.