Croft Castle's parkland

The Quarry Oak, a 1,000-year-old sessile oak tree, at Croft Castle, Herefordshire

The parkland at Croft Castle, Herefordshire, is one of the finest that we look after, with many wonderful examples of ancient trees.

One particularly special tree is the Quarry Oak which was just starting its life when William the Conqueror invaded Britain. It’s remarkable to think of all that has happened in the world during the life of this tree and that for centuries it provided the estate with valuable firewood and building material from its crown.
 
This is an ancient pollard, the branches having been repeatedly cut above the height of the grazing animals beneath. There are large numbers of ancient oak pollards scattered throughout the park, which extended all the way up the slopes to the iron- age hill fort on the edge of the estate.
 
Croft also has a remarkable old sweet chestnut avenue which is said to date back to the Spanish Armada. It is said that chestnuts were gathered from a ship-wrecked Spanish galleon and were planted in the formation of the Spanish fleet. 
 
In the neighbouring meadow there’s a fine collection of ancient English oaks which were reputedly planted in the formation of the British fleet, all done to commemorate the victory over the Spanish.