Croft Castle
Croft Castle is near the village of Yarpole in Herefordshire, England some 4 miles to the north-west of Leominster ( grid reference SO449655).

11th century origin
A building has been on the site from the 11th century and it has from this time been the home of the Croft family and Croft Baronets. The Croft family were closely linked to their neighbours the Mortimers of Wigmore and later Ludlow. The Battle of Mortimer's Cross took place on Croft lands nearby in 1461. The present building originated as a castle in the 14th century and has been much altered since. It was the home of a John Croft who married one of Owain Glyndŵr's daughters. In the 15th century the Croft family adopted the Welsh Wyvern crest, a wounded black dragon, seen as a subtle allusion to their Glyndwr heritage. Croft Castle was restored after slighting in the Civil War.

Manor house
It now consists of a stone quadrangular manor house with a small castellated round tower at each corner and a small square tower flanking the north side . The castle is under the care of the National Trust and members of the Croft family still live within it. The main building shares some similarities to Treago Castle, also in Herefordshire.

The church
The castle and 13th century St. Michaels church adjacent , lie in 1500 acres (6 km²) of glorious Herefordshire countryside. Inside the church is the fine altar tomb of Sir Richard Croft and his wife Lady Eleanor, a widow of Sir Hugh Mortimer.

The estate is noted for its veteran trees, particularly its avenues of Spanish Chestnut trees , oaks and beech trees and is one of the most important sites in North West Europe for veteran trees and dead wood invertebrates. Owned and managed now by the National Trust it is open to the public from March to December and has many events , waymarked walks, including the Mortimer Trail, and talks. The parkland also includes an Iron Age hillfort at Croft Ambrey .

References & External links
  • Croft Castle on Herefordshire Council website
  • Croft Castle on Castle UK website
  • Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
  • Croft Castle on Castlewales
  • BBC Hereford & Worcester feature including 360 panoramic of Croft Castle