As the country eagerly anticipates the coronation of King Charles III, Ross-on-Wye’s very own Goodrich Castle has been named one of the top hidden gems to visit during the celebratory weekend. This Norman medieval castle ruin, located north of the village of Goodrich in Herefordshire, controls a key location between Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye. Lauded by William Wordsworth as the “noblest ruin in Herefordshire” and deemed by historian Adrian Pettifer as the “most splendid in the county, and one of the best examples of English military architecture,” Goodrich Castle is truly a sight to behold.
Digital marketing agency Tank compiled a list of England’s most obscure castles, and Goodrich Castle proudly took sixth place. The agency analysed 155 castles across the country, ranking them according to visitor reviews and their presence on social media platforms. To create the list, Tank cross-referenced castles with the fewest tags on Instagram against the proportion of five-star ratings on TripAdvisor and Google reviews.
Goodrich Castle’s rich history and architectural prowess make it a fantastic destination for locals and visitors alike. The castle was likely built by Godric of Mappestone after the Norman invasion of England, initially as an earth and wooden fortification. In the mid-12th century, the original castle was replaced with a stone keep, and underwent significant expansion during the late 13th century into a concentric structure that combined luxurious living quarters with extensive defences. The success of Goodrich’s design went on to influence many other constructions across England in the years that followed. The castle became the seat of the powerful Talbot family before falling out of favour as a residence in late Tudor times.
Elizabeth Rhodes, founding director of Swain Architecture, explained the appeal of visiting lesser-known castles: “Castles always bring various stages of history to life... The most famous castles are often busy on bank holiday weekends, but by deliberately seeking out ones that most people are unaware of, you then have a chance to explore them properly and soak up their history.”
The top 10 hidden gems of English castles for the coronation weekend are: Hever Castle, Edenbridge, Kent; Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex; Bewcastle Castle, Bewcastle, Cumbria; Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Gloucestershire; Elsdon Castle, Elsdon, Northumberland; Goodrich Castle, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire; Walmer Castle, Deal, Kent; Old Wardour Castle, Tisbury, Wiltshire; Raby Castle, Darlington, County Durham; and Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent.
For those keen to explore hidden gems during the coronation weekend, a visit to Goodrich Castle in Ross-on-Wye is highly recommended. To see the full top 20 list of castles and learn more about each one, along with the methodology used to rank them, visit tankpr.co.uk/coronation-castles-hidden-gems. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and architectural splendour of Goodrich Castle, a medieval marvel nestled in the heart of Herefordshire.