Croft Castle

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Croft Castle in 2010

Croft Castle [1] is a manor house and associated buildings near the village of Yarpole in Herefordshire, England some 7 km (4 mi) to the north-west of Leominster (grid reference SO449655). The Mortimer Trail, a long-distance footpath, passes by.

11th-century origin[edit]

A building has been on the site from the 11th century and it has from this time been the home of the Croft family and Croft baronets.

The Croft family were closely linked to their neighbours the Mortimers of Wigmore and later Ludlow. The Battle of Mortimer's Cross took place on Croft lands nearby in 1461.

The present building originated as a castle in the 14th century and has been much altered since.

It was the home of a John Croft who married one of Owain Glyndŵr's daughters. In the 15th century the Croft family adopted the Welsh Wyvern crest, a wounded black dragon, seen as a subtle allusion to their Glyndwr heritage.

Croft Castle was restored after slighting in the Civil War.

Some members of this Croft family[edit]

Sir Richard Croft (1429/30-1509), royal official for Kings Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III, and Henry VII
Thomas Croft (c.1435-1488), shipowner and patron of Atlantic exploration
Sir James Croft (c.1518-1590), lord deputy of Ireland and leading conspirator in Wyatt's Rebellion
Herbert Croft (1603-1691), bishop of Hereford, chaplain to King Charles I and dean of the chapels Royal to Charles II
William Croft (c.1678-1727), organist and composer
Sir Herbert Croft (1751-1816), writer and lexicographer
Sir Richard Croft (1762-1818), physician and man-midwife
Sir Henry Page Croft (1881-1947), 1st Baron Croft, soldier and politician, Under-Secretary of State for War 1940-1945
Sir James Herbert Croft (1907-1941), died on active service with No 1 Commando
Andrew Croft (1906-1998), explorer and member of Special Operations Executive

Manor house[edit]

Croft Castle 1.jpg

It now consists of a stone quadrangular manor house with a small castellated round tower at each corner [2] and a small square tower flanking the north side.[3] The castle is under the care of the National Trust and members of the Croft family still live within it.

The main building shares some similarities to Treago Castle, also in Herefordshire.[4]

The church[edit]

The Church at Croft Castle - - 1057715.jpg

The castle and 13th century St. Michaels church adjacent,[5] lie in 1500 acres (6 km²) of Herefordshire countryside.

Inside the church is the fine altar tomb of Sir Richard Croft (1430-1509), high official to four monarchs, and his wife Eleanor (née Cornwall), daughter of Sir Edmund Cornwall, Baron of Burford in Shropshire, and widow of Sir Hugh Mortimer of Kyre Wyard and Martley, Worcestershire, killed in action at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460.[6]


The Mortimer Trail near Lucton - - 219819.jpg

The estate has an avenue of Spanish Chestnut trees,[7] oaks and beech trees.

Owned by the National Trust, it is open from March to December. The parkland includes an Iron Age hillfort at Croft Ambrey.[8]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°17′05″N 2°48′33″W / 52.28486°N 2.80916°W / 52.28486; -2.80916


  • Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3