National Trust, Croft Castle

Image credit: National Trust Images/Robert Morris

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Croft Castle, connected to the Croft family since the time of the Domesday Book (1085) was saved from demolition in 1956 and handed over to the National Trust in 1957 by Michael 2nd Lord Croft (1916–1997) with help from his sister Diana (1912–1999), wife of the artist and writer Fred Uhlman and Owen Croft's widow. Michael Croft's father had unexpectedly inherited Croft from a cousin Sir James Croft (1907–1941), 11th Bt. Many of Michael Croft's collection of modern paintings were sold in 2002 but the painting by the artist he patronised on his arrival in Britain in 1938, Oskar Kokoschka's 'Prague, Nostalgia', was left to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art as well as others given to The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. More pictures were accepted in lieu of tax on his estate in 1997 and transferred to the National Trust. The Gainsborough portrait of Elizabeth Cowper, Lady Croft, was bought by Edward Croft-Murray, Diana Uhlman and Lord Craigmyle and belongs to the Croft Trust. Other paintings continue to be lent by Lord Croft's son and daughter-in-law. The portrait of Michael Croft painted by Oskar Kokoschka in 1939 is on view at Croft, as are the complete set of aquatints of Thomas Johnes's Hafod estate in Wales by J. C. Stadler from the watercolours by John 'Warwick' Smith of 1809.

Yarpole, near Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9PW England

01568 780246

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