Croft Castle, Herefordshire, UK  » Travel  »
4.5
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Yarpole, near Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9PW
  • I think that the Trust do a pretty good job on the whole, and members as usual can gain admission without paying the (fairly modest) admission charge
  • You can choose only to visit the grounds, which costs £3.50, but in my opinion it is most definitely worth handing over just one pound more and visiting the house itself as well
  • I like Croft Castle a lot, and feel that it can be recommended to anyone who has an interest in castles, country houses or simply the extensive and very attractive gardens

    • by fredhound
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      Of all the many tourist attractions in the beautiful English border county of Herefordshire, one that to my mind really stands out is Croft Castle in the village of Yarpole. It is now run by the National Trust, and as such is conserved for the benefit of the nation’s heritage and opened to the public on most days of the year. I think that the Trust do a pretty good job on the whole, and members as usual can gain admission without paying the (fairly modest) admission charge.

      Croft Castle is, it has to be admitted, not the easiest of places to reach if you are reliant on public transport, and if this is the case you are likely to have to get yourself as far as Leominster and then either be very careful in perusing the bus timetables or, alternatively, hire a taxi. This will obviously be rather expensive, as it is about ten


      miles from Leominster to the castle, so you should budget for this if necessary. If you are driving, on the other hand, reaching the attraction is pretty straightforward, as from most parts of England you can simply make for the main A44 trunk highway as far as Woofferton just to the north of Leominster, and then turn on to the B4362, a pretty but often quite slow and twisty road that will take you close enough to the castle that it will be signposted quite obviously.

      There has been a castle of some description on the Croft site for almost a thousand years, with its first incarnation being a strong and forbidding Norman fortress built in order to keep out the Welsh. As this was largely built of wood, not a great deal of it remains and all that you are likely to be able to do is to imagine, with the help of some ...


      • of the useful information books and panels available at Croft, what it must have been like. The larger stone castle that forms the basis of what the place looks like today was not built until the surprisingly late date of about 1400, and its most important battles came in the following century during the Wars of the Roses, including the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross in 1461. It was also involved in the English Civil War two centuries later, and was then deliberately damaged to make it unusable. It was restored a few decades later to become the manor house and mansion it now is.

        You can choose only to visit the grounds, which costs £3.50, but in my opinion it is most definitely worth handing over just one pound more and visiting the house itself as well. Although you cannot see all of it, you are able to view enough of the building to be

        well worth that extra admission price. The castle is open six days a week, being closed on Sundays, and it’s open all the year around, although in the winter it opens for only around four hours per day so it’s important to keep an eye on the clock! It’s possible to get refreshments here, which is certainly very welcome given that it is out in the country, and there are the usual basic facilities such as toilets and picnic areas.

        I like Croft Castle a lot, and feel that it can be recommended to anyone who has an interest in castles, country houses or simply the extensive and very attractive gardens. It’s a shame that it’s not a little better known generally, but I suppose that’s partly because it’s a bit off the beaten track and also partly because there are simply so many other castles along the Welsh border that it has to compete with!




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