Herefordshire is the bridge between the Cotswolds and the border between England and Wales. The mostly rural county is a paradise for walkers, with miles of paths crisscrossing the rolling hills or passing through the Forest of Dean. Usually, after a bracing walk, you’ll end up in a village or a market town, where you can enjoy a delicious pub lunch and a pint.
Thanks to its position between England and Wales, there are several castles defending the region from invasion… at least, they were centuries ago. In this post, we’ll look at three of the most fascinating castles in Herefordshire.
3 Castles to visit in Herefordshire
1. Croft Castle
Standing on the border of England and Wales, Croft Castle started life as a Norman stronghold. What you can see now, however, is a wonderful example of Rococo-Gothic architecture built on the foundations of a medieval castle.
The interior of the castle also showcases Jacobethan panelling. Visitors can not only enjoy the building when visiting Croft Castle but the surrounding parklands too. It sits within 1,500 acres of historic parkland, which includes a walled garden and trails to an iron age hill fort. On a clear day, it’s said you can see 14 counties from the top!
When: 16th and 17th century
Style: Rococo Gothic
Open for Visit: Yes. The castle and parkland open slightly different times but usually from 10:00 – 17:00. Check the website below for more details.
2. Goodrich Castle
Said to be one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Herefordshire, Goodrich Castle stands proudly above the River Wye. The castle’s keep is the oldest part and dates back to the 12th century, while the gatehouse was added in around the year 1300.
It balances the terror of murder holes with the peace of its 13th-century chapel, which is adorned with beautiful stained-glass windows. Goodrich withstood many sieges before its fall in the 17th century, which you can learn about in the on-site museum.
There’s an exhibition of Civil War Cannonballs that were found in the castle in the 1920s and the only surviving Civil War mortar – Roaring Meg. Visitors to the castle can also enjoy a tearoom and shop on site.
When: 12th century
Open for Visit: 10:00 – 18:00 during the summer months.
3. Wilton Castle
This 12th-century castle is sometimes known as Ross Castle but is better known as Wilton due to its association with the manor house on the same estate. It is thought that it was initially built as a monastery on a Norman motte and bailey fortress.
What is certain is that it is made out of red sandstone. Many of the fortifications were added in the 14th century before a mansion house was built in the 16th. The house is still in use, and the gardens are known as some of the finest in Herefordshire.
The public is able to admire the gardens and what remains of the castle during open days in summer. Or they can catch a glimpse of the castle from the opposite side of the river.
When: 12th century
Open for Visit: No. It is privately owned, but there are open days during the summer.