#2 & #55 Goodrich Castle
Herefordshire, England
before 1102/~1150/~1280-1296
This is NOT an official Lego site

The first castle at the strategic site overlooking the River Wye was an enclosure built shortly before 1102 by Godric (Mappestone?), from whom the name of the castle presumably arises.  Nothing remains of that castle.  The property was granted to Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare in 1138 by King Stephen, partially to assure Gilbert's loyalty in his rivalry for the throne with Empress Matilda, daughter of King Henry I.  The second castle on the site was built sometime around the middle of the 12th century, most likely by Gilbert's son, Richard 'Strongbow' de Clare, Lord of Goodrich.  That castle, likely a wooden enclosure with timber buildings, was bolstered by the small (29 feet square), three story, stone keep, the oldest known part of the current ruin.  Richard had great success as a soldier, but died in 1176 with two small children at home, so his estate reverted to the Crown, in this case King Henry II.  In 1189 new King Richard I 'Lionheart' gave the hand of Richard de Clare's daughter Isabella, now of age, to his favorite knight of the royal household, William Marshall.
Marshall was initially given the border castles of Chepstow and Usk when he married, but when King Richard's brother, John, became king, he granted Marshall the prestigious Earldom of Pembroke, and finally 5 years later, Goodrich Castle.  While improvements were doubtless made to the castle, King John's reign became tempestuous, ending in the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.  As a loyalist, William Marshall was very busy handling the French invasion led by Prince Louis and the coronation of nine-year-old Henry III, after John died in 1216.  Marshall and Isabella did, however, have time to have 5 sons and 5 daughters.  The sons all became Earls of Pembroke but they also died childless, and Goodrich Castle passed briefly to John de Munchensi, the son of Marshall's youngest (but late) daughter, Joan.  When John died childless, the castle passed to his young sister, Joan de Munchensi.  King Henry III arranged for Joan to marry a young knight from the Poitiers, France area, who happened to be his half-brother.  The knight's name was William de Valence, and under William and Joan's care, Goodrich would reach the pinnacle of favor and renovation.  When William died in 1296, the improvements to the castle were completed by his widow and their son, Aymer de Valence.  In addition to the towers and curtain wall, the barbican and gatehouse, as well as the spurs of several drum towers, were added or improved.
Goodrich passed from the hands of the Earls of Pembroke to the Talbots, a soldiering family, for more than 100 years, then in 1469, Goodrich became the chief seat of the Earls of Shrewsbury, then passed on to the Earls of Kent in 1616. Attacked in the Civil Wars of 1642-6 by Cromwell's army, Goodrich finally succumbed to four and one half months of pummeling by 200 pound balls from the Cromwellian mortar "Roaring Meg", the last castle in Herefordshire to fall. Following the Civil War the castle was slighted [partially dismantled] and allowed to fall into disrepair, passing from the Earls of Kent to Admiral Thomas Griffin in 1755.  The castle remained in the guardianship of that family until it was given to the HM Office of Works in 1920.  From the 18th century, Goodrich historic and architectural significance have made it a major tourist attraction.  All the photographs (save the aerial view) were taken by me or my wife, Judy, on our May 2015 visit.


Photos of the Lego Model
Built August 1993
First attempt
July 1986
South View
Southwest View
East View
Northeast View
North View


Build Your Own
Lego Plan (top)
Lego Plan (bottom)
Southwest Elevation

Other Goodrich Castle pages:

Return to the
main castle page.

Castles created by
Robert Carney
Page created and maintained by Robert Carney