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Border Castles

Goodrich Castle

I decided to make a long weekend out of the trip to Caerleon, staying overnight in a small hotel in a village a few miles away. It’s not a long journey from Malvern – well under two hours, but even so that’s longer than I like to drive in one go. So I broke the journey in each direction by visiting one of the Border Castles, presumably originally built to help subdue the Welsh, but in both cases finding themselves on the wrong side in the Civil War and being slighted by the victorious Parliamentarians. Goodrich Castle is on the English side of the border, and is a picturesque ruin now. Over the years that I’ve been going there, I’ve seen English Heritage develop the visitor facilities from a ticket-office in a portacabin to a large bespoke shop / tea-room.

Raglan Castle

Raglan Castle, in contrast, is on the Welsh side of the border, and is in the care of Cadw, the Welsh equivalent of English Heritage. The castle itself is more impressive than Goodrich, but Cadw hasn’t invested in it as much – the toilet facilities are basic compared to those at Goodrich, the shop is much smaller, and there is no tea-room. They’re really missing a trick there – judging by how busy the castle on a Sunday lunchtime, I’d have thought they’d have a made a fortune offering light lunches.