22nd April – 5th November 2023
This year, the first exhibition of Apples & People will be opening at The National Trust’s Croft Castle, celebrating the diversity of the humble apple as it gathers meaning in many different art forms.
An Apple Gathering celebrates the importance of Herefordshire’s apple-growing history and explores the many ways the apple has rooted itself in culture. Throughout the year the castle, grounds, church, and walled garden orchard will be gradually transformed by stories of the apple told through art, music, sculpture and literature.
From this Spring, step into Croft’s historic apple orchard and feast your eyes and ears on orchard-inspired paintings and poems which bring to life the seasonality of the fruit.
Inside the house, listen to the evocative sounds of The Orchard Year, an immersive soundscape featuring music, poetry, spoken word, wassails and bird song.
Alongside the soundscape, a series of Wassail photographs by Bill Bradshaw explore the present-day celebrations of this ancient tradition.
This exhibition is part of the Apples & People programme, a partnership between the Brightspace Foundation, the Museum of Cider and the National Trust in Herefordshire.
Please note that normal National Trust admission fees apply to visit this exhibition at Croft Castle.
The Orchard at Croft Castle
Herefordshire’s traditional orchards are a huge part of the county’s heritage, and the area is well known for its fruit trees and cider. The orchards at Croft Castle support numerous mature specimens, including many Old Herefordshire varieties, such as Adam’s Pearmain, King’s Acre Bountiful, and Herefordshire Beefing.
The majority of the apple trees at Croft are thought to have been planted in the 1920s, judging by some of the archive photos. There is a collection of 60 mature specimens of around 30 cultivars. Old Herefordshire varieties at Croft include Adam’s Pearmain, Brown Snout, Doctor Hare, Downton Pippin, Gennet Moyle, King’s Acre Bountiful and Herefordshire Beefing.
In a field of about two acres near the farm at Croft there is a collection of very old apple trees, twisted with age but still productive. Some lie on their sides like wrecked ships and the smallish green apples with a red flush have an odd, somewhat ancient flavour of well-matured cider with a peppery aftertaste.
Croft Castle and Parkland
Croft Castle is a 17th century castellated manor house, home to the Croft family since 1085. The castle and estate passed out of their hands in the 18th century, before being repurchased by the family in 1923. In 1957 it was bequeathed to the National Trust.
Croft Castle contains many works of art and the large estate features many scenic walks including ancient trees, hill forts, restored valleys and woodlands.
The castle has many rooms including: The Hall, The gallery, The Dining Room, The Oak Room, The Blue Room, The Saloon, The Library, The Library Ante-Room and The Ambassador’s Room.
There are gardens, orchard, church, tea-room, parkland, second-hand bookshop and a children’s play area near the castle.
There are walks up onto the Iron Age hill fort of Croft Ambry. You can see some of the impressive collection of 300 veteran trees, including a 750 year old Candelabra Oak, a Spanish chestnut avenue dating back to the time of the Armada. Perhaps visit the picturesque ‘Fishpool Valley’ so loved by the Victorians and Edwardians.
For opening times and further information:
Visiting Croft Castle and Parkland on the National Trust website
Please note that normal National Trust admission fees apply to visit this exhibition at Croft Castle
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‘A Variety of Cultures’
Museum of Cider, Herefordshire, England
27th October 2023 – 28th January 2024
Angela Hung talking about 'A Variety of Cultures' Exhibition and Apples & People.The exhibition runs at the Museum of Cider in Hereford until 28th January 2024.'A Variety of Cultures' is a landmark exhibition for the Museum of Cider. A must-see for everyone interested in art, everyone who likes apples, and anyone looking for positive international connections in these troubled times.Exploring how cultures across the globe have taken the apple and made it their own. This exhibition brings important international artworks to the Museum of Cider in Hereford.One of the highlights is a large collection of nineteenth century Australian model apples lent by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew that have never before been seen outside London.There is also work by New Zealand pop artist Billy Apple, Chinese art including a Cultural Revolution poster courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum, and a new commission by Anglo-French artist Anne Rook who has created a body of work which looks at the iconography associated with varieties of apples.@museumofcider @applesandpeople#applesandpeople #appleart #applestories #exhibition #museumofcider #cider #apples ... See MoreSee Less
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