Hever Castle & GardensHever
Hever
Edenbridge
Kent TN8 7NG
 
 
Unbelievably, there is an ancient stone castle, surrounded by a moat and set in glorious gardens, only thirty miles (48 km) from the centre of London.
 
Beautiful Hever Castle is hidden away deep in rural Kent, halfway between Sevenoaks and East Grinstead and very easy to get to.  It is best known as being the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:     External Link
 
The defensive castle with a moat, wooden drawbridge and portcullis, and twin towers was built in 1270.  In 1451 it was bought by Anne Bullen's (Boleyn) great-grandfather, Sir Geoffrey Bullen (Boleyn), Lord Mayor of the City of London, and turned into a private family residence.
 
By 1505, Sir Thomas Boleyn had further expanded the castle and was living there with his wife Elizabeth and their three children, George, Mary and Anne.  It was here that Henry VIII would come, intent on wooing Anne and making her his mistress.  As we all know, this infatuation changed the history of England in a very dramatic way.
 
American Connection - William Waldorf Astor
Over the centuries Hever Castle fell into disrepair until it was bought by American millionaire, William Waldorf Astor in 1906 to be his family residence.  He completely restored the castle to its Tudor glory.
 
He needed many more rooms than the castle could provide so he built a mock Tudor village behind the castle to house his guests.  It is these charming buildings that now serve as a conference centre, a shop, restaurants, visitor centre, etc.
 
He also landscaped the grounds creating Tudor style gardens, with a Yew Maze, topiary walks, Rose Garden and a lake created from the surrounding marshland.
 
Tudor portraits and artefacts
Inside the castle, the wood panelled rooms are hung with superb Tudor portraits and artefacts either from Tudor times or related to the Boleyn family and Henry VIII and his six wives.  The public rooms such as the Long Gallery are lofty and grand but the private living quarters are quite small and cramped, particularly Anne’s bedroom.
 
Fascinating personal objects belonging to Anne and Henry are on display including two beautifully illuminated Books of Hours (Anne’s personal prayer books) and one of Henry's private locks, taken with him on his various visits to noblemen's houses and fitted to every door for his security.
 
Other exhibits in the 13th century gatehouse from differing historical eras include collections of historic swords, armour, instruments of execution, torture and discipline.
 
Family Friendly
There is plenty of fun for children with an Adventure Playground, the Splashing Water Maze, an Open Air Theatre, Jousting Tournaments (July and August), rowing boats for hire on the lake, and story-telling in the Long Gallery.
 
Plan Your Visit
Opening Dates & Times
 
Entry Costs
Web:  Hever Castle Entry Prices     External Link
 
Disabled Access
Good access to Grounds and Facilities, however the Castle has Ground floor access only. For further details go to Web:   Hever Castle Accessibility     External Link
 
Facilities
Toilets; Shop; Refreshments; Audio Tour Guides
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0)1732 865 224
Mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website  Hever Castle Website     External Link
 
Getting There
Web:  Hever Castle Directions     External Link
 
Google Maps - Hever Castle & Gardens