"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 14 September 2020

Herefordshire - Part 3: Ancient Tree Trail at Croft Castle


After looking round the walled gardens at Croft Castle last Wednesday we decided to follow the 1.5 mile ancient tree trail.

After walking a short way down the drive the path goes through the meadow behind the castle down to a pool.

There were loads of these toadstools in the grassland.

As you leave the pool you enter a Sweet Chestnut Avenue with many old and gnarled trees.

Somewhere along this section of the walk there is the Quarry Oak - one of the oldest trees at Croft being 1000 years old.  I am not hundred per cent certain but it may be the tree in the next photo?

Above an avenue of more recently planted trees.

The next few photos aren't brilliant as the sun was strong and bleaching out the photos while creating strange shadows.

Apologies if the spacing is a bit weird - this new blogger is nowhere near as user friendly as the legacy blogger.  Not sure how to delete lines and have now wish to delete something I don't want to!

We then came to the Spanish Chestnut Avenue which was the original formal approach to the castle. There is a story that sweet chestnuts were taken from captured Spanish vessels and planted here between 1580 and 1680 to represent the formal battle plan of the ships at the Spanish Armada.

The next part of the walk goes past some beautiful stunted old hawthorns planted as though they are within an orchard.  One explanation is that they were the rootstock plants for a medlar tree orchard and when the medlars died the hawthorn rootstock took over.

Looking back at the Spanish Chestnut Avenue

As you walk through the field towards the castle you can see 400 - 500 year old chestnut trees and newly planted ones grown from their seed.

Oops photo has gone in wrong place - will upload again and see if I can delete the other one

The William Croft Oak - 500 years old named after Sir William Croft who supposedly died under this tree after being shot in the Civil War.

Back at the castle.

We did go to check out the tearoom to buy an icecream but it was quite small inside and no-one fancied entering!

It really was  a lovely afternoon out.

Not impressed at all with the new blogger!  Rustic Pumpkin kindly pointed me in the direction of Compose your Own View rather than using html which means hopefully I have added paragraphs!

Some have moaned about the quality of the photos so I will see what this post looks like. If I am happy I will probably perservere but if not will revert back to legacy blogger for as long as I can!

The next two posts will be about two of the villages on the "black and white" village trail - Weobley and Eardisland. Then finally a stop off at Brockhampton on Friday on the way home.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.


Rustic Pumpkin said...

What a fabulous walk, and I love that all the trees and groves have some special significance to history. Absolutely beautiful.

I've had problems deleting and spacing things, but as it's all so new to me I can't remember what I did now. I must make a note sheet next time, but I do know the "undo" button is my new best friend!

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much! Your suggestions were very helpful re: new blogger. But I still hate it! I am half tempted to revert back to legacy blogger for as long as I can. I can't understand why the don't leave that option available permanently for those who want to carry on using it.

It was a lovely walk :) Thanks for reminder re: undo button!

Pam said...

What a gorgeous place, a 1000yr old tree, it's difficult to comprehend isn't it! I always love the patterns the branches make in the big old trees!

I've had a few issues with the new blogger lay out and spacing and the size of the photos etc......hopefully the bugs will resolve :/

Caroline Gill said...

What a wonderful post, RR, and please don't worry about the spacing. I'm certainly also finding the new interface very unintuitive and tricky. Your photos are sharp and clear but it won't allow me to click on them for a larger more detailed view, which I seem to recall doing before. I reverted back and back and back... until the point when I could hardly change a comma without being made to try the new interface so I have finally succumbed. I have a Wordpress blog which I never found so easy, but perhaps I will give it a go again soon...

As for Croft Castle, wonderful views, and those lovely trees! It was a special haunt of ours when we wanted a long day out from Swansea.

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - thanks so much. We shall be going back there again! Just love old trees and when you think of the history they have witnessed :)

Still tempted to convert back to legacy blogger for as long as I can! I did a post this afternoon - took me ages. Left in draft in the end as the computer became so slow and un-reactive :( Dreading going back to it - if I can work out how to of course! Have to work out now how to place a link :(

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much. Yes it is horrible. Have come to the conclusion I was using html under older blogger which worked fine for me but now to get paragraphs I am using "compose view" layout and I just can't get used to it. On my computer (desktop) if I click on a photo it does go to a gallery as it used to. In next post, if I can work out how to get back into draft!!!, I will add a comment asking others if they can still access the gallery. It will be a pain if it has gone :( I don't know why blogger can't allow you to use old blogger permanently if you want to!

I did once open a wordpress account but never used it. People I think complain about adverts on there???

Glad you know Croft Castle so well - even OH liked it and he is not keen on NT properties as a rule! We shall certainly be going back - only 30 minutes away and being members it is "free" if you discount membership costs!!! Shan't be getting my money's worth this year! Haven't been to a local one this year!