Women and Power at Croft Castle

A photograph of a young Dorothy Kevill-Davies

From Saturday 5 May to Sunday 4 November 2018, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed some women the right to vote for the first time.

2018 marked 100 years since the Representation of the People Act. To commemorate this significant milestone, we shared 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

You could 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.

Objects were 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. 

We invited you to vote for the stories which most inspired you when you returned to the Hall. We can now reveal that the Green stories came first (Hope), the Purple stories second (Dignity) and the White stories third (Purity). Thank you so much to everyone who voted. We will still be telling these stories througout 2019, so do ask the team about them on your next visit.

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)

The Croft cloth

Many of you became part of our collective remembrance by adding your signature to a fabric oak leaf in the dining room. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Croft cloth; it has been wonderful to see so many names added. The oak leaves will now be stitched together to form a table runner for the Dining Room; the completed cloth will be on display on weekends from Saturday 17 November.

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
" 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