The changing faces of Croft Castle

Portrait of Lord Archer Croft, Croft Castle, Herefordshire

Croft Castle hasn't always been occupied by the Croft's. Take a look at the rise and fall of members of the Croft family and how the castle has been used over the centuries.

The Baronetcy begins

The Croft's undying loyalty to the British monarchy was rewarded in 1671 when Bishop Herbert Croft's son was created a Baronet and the title lives on to this day in Australia.
 
In the gallery you can see a collection of family portraits, spanning across the many generations.
 
 

From Baronetcy to bankruptcy

The 700 year history of the Crofts came to an abrupt end in 1746 when Sir Archer Croft declared bankruptcy after investing in the 1720 South Sea Bubble.
 
Eventually Sir Archer ended up selling the castle and the estates to the self made millionaire Richard Knight, a local Ironmaster. 
 
 

Croft reclaimed 

After 170 years, in 1923, Croft was reclaimed by Lady Katherine Croft. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the castle was brought back to life by Katherine and her children.
 
They enjoyed many parties, balls and social banquets. Sir James excelled at sport, choosing to spend his time hunting, fishing and driving his extremely fast cars around the Herefordshire countryside.
 
Discover the story of James Croft in the saloon
A framed photo of James Croft sitting in his Alvis outside Croft Castle in Herefordshire
 
 

The school years

During the Second World War the castle became home to St. Mary’s Convent School for Girls. Some of the girls' coat pegs and graffiti can still be seen on the attic walls today.
 
In 1957, Croft Castle and its parkland came into our care.
 
An echo from the past; school children from the 1940's have left their mark in the attics at Croft
Graffiti by school children from the 1940's in the attics at Croft Castle in Herefordshire
 
See the original coat pegs used by school children in the 1940's on one of our attic tours
Coat pegs and numbers from when Croft Castle was a school in the 1940's