The Captain Christie Crawfurd English Civil War Collection is mainly the work of one man, Captain Cristie Crawfurd. He had a great interest in the Civil War and purchased the paintings mostly in the 1930s. The Trustees have access to a number of the original sale catalogues. Captain Crawfurd stayed in Stow on the Wold and received kindness from the people of Stow. Because of Stow's historical connections with the last battles of the Civil War he bequeathed the collection to the people of Stow.
The collection has portraits of prominent figures from the Civil War, including Royalist supporters and religious figures, portraits of Oliver Cromwell and some of his parliamentary supporters. A number of the portraits bear attributions to seventeenth century artists, or their circle, including van Dyck, Lely, Dobson and Walker. The collection includes a number of later Victorian portraits and a modern pastiche of Stow on the Wold. The authenticity of the paintings has never been proven and we believe most to be copies.
St Edward's Hall is a Victorian building housing the public library on its ground floor and the collection on the upper floor.