The garden at Croft Castle
Be enchanted by the homely garden at Croft. Follow the sweeping border along the drive or sit and listen to the birds in the church garden. Look out for seasonal produce growing in the walled garden and discover some of the heritage apple varieties.
Autumn in the garden
As the seasons shift, Croft Castle unveils its autumn beauty, offering visitors a unique experience. Autumn marks the time when we harvest grapes from our own working vineyard, and there is an opportunity to taste the varied apples from the orchard. In the walled garden, visitors are invited to relax, unwind, and picnic beneath the welcoming canopy of apple trees.
Follow the paths dating from 1823 around the walled garden to discover a variety of seasonal flowers all year round along with traditional and rare apple varieties. The garden also has a small vineyard, containing a variety of grape known as 'Phoenix'. It produces a white table wine that's refreshing and crisp to drink. According to the garden team, vines are a bit tricky to grow within a walled garden, requiring careful love and attention.
You'll find vegetable, fruit and salad borders, where fresh, seasonal produce is grown for visitors to enjoy in the Carpenters tea-room.
In the walled garden you'll also find the 1914 'J. Weeks and Co' glasshouse which is currently being restored by the garden team. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll only be able to admire this structure from a distance at the moment. Plants grown inside the garden are sometimes on sale; keep a look-out or ask one of the garden team on your next visit.
The Georgian stables
You can see where some of the Croft horses lived in the Georgian stable block. The carriage horse stalls are now home to the second-hand bookshop but some of the original hunter loose boxes remain today.
St Michaels and All Angels Church
This 15th-century church is located next to the castle and within the garden, and is still used as a parish church. The garden team tend to the churchyard garden and if you take a look inside the church, you can see the tomb of Sir Richard Croft, who fought in the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross in 1461 during the Wars of the Roses. Parts of the church date from the 12th and 14th centuries and the original medieval tiled floor is a patchwork of the church's history.
The majority of the apple trees at Croft are thought to have been planted in the 1920s, judging by some of the archive photos. There is a collection of 60 mature specimens of around 30 cultivars. Old Herefordshire varieties at Croft include Adam’s Pearmain, Brown Snout, Doctor Hare, Downton Pippin, Gennet Moyle, King’s Acre Bountiful and Herefordshire Beefing.
In a field of about two acres near the farm at Croft there is a collection of very old apple trees, twisted with age but still productive. Some lie on their sides like wrecked ships and the smallish green apples with a red flush have an odd, somewhat ancient flavour of well-matured cider with a peppery aftertaste.
The paths in the garden are fully accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs all year round. Dogs are allowed in the walled garden too, so you can see the vineyard and beautiful borders and stroll all the way around the castle.
Croft Castle is a two pawprint rated place. You and your dog can explore 1,500 acres of parkland and beautiful gardens at Croft Castle.
Croft Castle was noted in the Domesday book in 1086 and the Croft family have played a part influencing British political and military history ever since. Uncover their stories in the castle.
Explore 1,500 acres of wood, farm and parkland including the 'Picturesque' Fishpool Valley and an Iron Age hillfort at Croft Castle.
Tuck into some lunch and light bites in the Carpenter’s tea-room at Croft Castle, or visit the second-hand bookshop to find yourself a pre-loved classic.
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