Croome Court, the former home of the Earls of Coventry, is at the heart of the park. Lived in by the 6th Earl of Coventry in the 18th century, remodelled by 'Capability' Brown and with interiors by Robert Adam, the house was at the cutting edge of new talent and taste. It had many owners throughout the 20th century, including Hare Krishna devotees and property developers.
It has suffered in the 21st century and has been patiently waiting for revival. Its time has come as we start to pull this glorious yet faded house back from the brink thanks to £5 million of donations and grants, and a £1.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This autumn we are preparing to start the main building works at the beginning of 2014. The intricate and fascinating work will be shared with you by our staff, volunteers and building teams as much as possible until the end of 2015 where the house will enter another phase of its incredible journey.
At the moment, you can explore two un-restored and unfurnished floors of the house. After restoration, we will open all four floors to you and transform the experience. Croome is and will be like no other National Trust house.
What's at the house
- Ground floor and basement open, except on Tuesdays
- Tea-room serving light lunches and afternoon teas
- Two toilets in the basement, only accesible via a staircase
- Universal access portaloo located outside
- Indoor wheelchair available to borrow
- Stairclimber available for wheelchair users to access the ground floor
- Trail and activities for families
- Dog waiting hook located by the river (please check your map)
- Second-hand bookshop run by the Friends of Croome
- Oral history display in the basement
In September, pick up our free Hidden Heritage Trail especially for adults to discover the strange and wonderful at Croome. Find out what the house team have brought out for display from our small collection, once owned by Lady Maria, the 10th Earl of Coventry's daughter, and normally hidden away in store.
Dig deeper into Croome's history
The Friends of Croome have run an oral history project for the last eight years. The results are on display for you to see in the old servants' hall in the basement. The exhibition is full of recollections of the people who lived and worked at Croome and you can see photos and sound clips of the fantastic stories they have to tell.
The only painting we have on display takes up a whole wall in the saloon. The Great Horse, or Jack-a-Dandy, used to hang in Croome Court before it was given to the Coventry almshouses in Droitwich by the family in the 1940s. Now we have the painting on permanent loan and you can find out about its conservation and the history that plays out in the painting itself.
Entertain the family
Test out the plate designer to make your very own creations in the Dining Room, work out the jigsaws in the Long Gallery, try on the costumes and wigs in the Drawing Room and make sure you have fun in the house. There's no precious collection so enjoy the space as you try the imaginative trail around the house which will take you through the rooms on the ground floor as well as in the basement.
A first for 'Bob the Roman'
Croome is a place where many things happened first. The career of the famous 18th century designer Robert Adam is probably the most significant. Commissioned by the 6th Earl of Coventry, Adam (nicknamed 'Bob the Roman') designed three exquisite rooms in Croome Court. See his masterpiece, the Long Gallery, inspired by the Roman ruins of Palmyra, and his very first ceiling.
Books, books, books!
The Friends of Croome run a second-hand bookshop in the basement which raises over £5,000 a year for funding equipment or restoration projects at Croome. The bookshop is always well stocked but we love to receive any book donations.
What's coming up
We admit it, we're excited. After years of planning and fundraising, work has finally begun to inform our huge repair works which will begin at the start of next year. The work we are carrying out at the moment will cause minimal disruption to your visit and by the end of the year we will be showing you our investigations to open up the house to further guide our plans before we start.