Croft Castle in Croft, Herefordshire
The very hot weather means that we have been walking very slowly at all the places we are visiting on this trip. I don’t understand how I could be so foolish as to not have packed my Havaianas. I know these slippers are not everyone’s cup of tea but my feet get on fine with them and how I miss them in this heat.
As part of our trip to Ludlow we visited two National Trust properties: Croft Castle and Berrington Hall, both situated in Herefordshire. Being near to each other, it is easy to visit both in one morning or in one afternoon.
Interesting facts about Croft Castle:
1) there used to be a castle on the grounds but this was destroyed, and the house that now stands here has architectural features of a castle but is not a castle but a family home
2) the estate has been owned by the Croft family since 1085, and members of the Croft family still live there
3) the first member of the Croft family to have owned the estate was Bernard de Croft, who is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
St Michael and All Angels Church, adjacent to Croft Castle, dates from the 14th century
Interior of the church
I found an enormous Bible (I placed a pen on it for comparison)
There is a very small vineyard within the walled garden
Interesting facts about Berrington Hall:
1) Berrington Hall was sold by the Cornewall family in 1775 to Thomas Harley, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1767
2) Thomas Harley had grown tired of living in London and desired a country residence. He commissioned the rebuilding of the present Berrington Hall in 1778-1781 in place of the previous old house
3) the house was designed and built by Henry Holland, whose father-in-law Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown designed the parklands
4) there is a family connection to Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, after whom Harley Street in London is named.
A view from one the large windows
The main staircase (there is another one for the servants’ use)
The walled garden contains many fruit trees including apple, peach and mulberry (apples shown here)
My thoughts on owning a house in the countryside, away from the city: don’t do it. Unless you want to make it your main residence or rent it out most of the year, owning a country house is just another thing to tie you down. If you had the money to do this, park it somewhere else and use the return / dividend to stay in hotels when you travel. This would encourage you to explore different places and make your life more interesting.