Women and Power at Croft Castle

A photograph of a young Dorothy Kevill-Davies

From Saturday 5 May 2018, we'll be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed some women the right to vote for the first time.

2018 marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act. To commemorate this significant milestone, we're sharing the stories of some of Croft's key women through objects and paintings in the castle.

Bust of Princess Charlotte, daughter of George IV, in the Library Ante-Room at Croft Castle
Bust of Princess Charlotte, daughter of George IV in the Library Ante-Room at Croft Castle, & reflected in one of the pier glass mirrors
Bust of Princess Charlotte, daughter of George IV, in the Library Ante-Room at Croft Castle

Discover more about the Croft's royal connections to Elizabeth I and Princess Charlotte, the efforts made by Katherine Croft and her daughter Elinor to buy the castle back in 1923 and the vital contributions Dorothy Kevill-Davies and Anne Page Croft made to the war effort on the Home Front from 1914-18.

Look for objects marked by rosettes in the colours of the Women’s Suffrage movement:

  • Purple is the royal colour, it stands for the royal blood which flows in the veins of every suffragette.

  • White stands for purity in private and public life.

  • Green is the colour of hope and the emblem of spring. 

Once you've discovered more about these ten different women, you can vote for the stories which most inspired you when you return to the Hall. You can also learn more about the women who work at Croft today in the dining room.

Discover more about the women of Croft, including Nancy Beatrice Borwick, Lady Croft (1884-1949)
Portrait of The Hon. Nancy Beatrice Borwick, Lady Croft (1884-1949) by Philip Alexius de László de Lombos
Discover more about the women of Croft, including Nancy Beatrice Borwick, Lady Croft (1884-1949)

What else can we do?

Become part of our collective remembrance by adding your signature to a fabric oak leaf in the dining room, on weekends from 12pm to 3pm. You can simply write your name or even have a go at sewing it. We have pieces of cloth here, but if you'd like to bring along a piece of material which means something to you, you're more than welcome.

Sign your name on an oak leaf and become part of our collective remembrance
Individual fabric oak leaves which have been signed by visitors to Croft Castle in Herefordshire
Sign your name on an oak leaf and become part of our collective remembrance

The leaves will eventually be sewn together to form a commemorative table runner for the dining room. Signature cloths were very popular during the early twentieth-century as a way of fundraising, commemorating an event or just as a statement of friendship and solidarity.

" Hundreds of people have now signed their name on a fabric leaf to become part of our commemorative cloth. We have enjoyed sitting with people on weekends as they sew their name, or leave tributes to their loved ones. We’ve had people of all ages give it a go, from children sewing for the first time to a 91 year old who sewed her age into her leaf. "
- Sarah Marden, Senior House Steward

You can also join a Women and Power tour on Wednesdays and Sundays until 16 September and discover more about the women of Croft during the First World War with our living history weekends. Check out our what's on page for more information.