STAFF and visitors at Croome Court were thrilled by a visit from an impressionist painter.

Professor Ken Howard visited to paint a picture of the National Trust mansion house to be auctioned off as part of a fund-raising appeal, which is hoping to raise £100,000 for extensive restoration work.

Led by Lord Flight of Worcester, the fundraising committee has asked both locally and nationally-acclaimed artists to paint Croome or donate a painting which will be displayed in the house this autumn, and then will go to London next spring to be sold.

“We’re very lucky to have such huge support from the fund-raising appeal committee, who have supported us for three years and work hard to raise money for Croome Court all in their own time,” said Michael Smith, property manager.

“We were really excited when Lord Flight called to tell us Ken Howard was going to visit us and was even going to paint in one of the most beautiful rooms in the house, the long gallery.”

Other artists include David Birtwhistle, Andrew Festing and John Wonnacott.