Hever Castle is in Kent, very close to the
Surrey and Sussex borders. The original medieval defensive castle
with its gatehouse and walled bailey was built in 1270. In the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it was the home of one of the most
powerful families in the country, the Boleyns, who added the Tudor
dwelling within the walls. Anne Boleyn, queen for a thousand days,
met Henry Tudor here while he was still married to his first wife.
The castle later passed into the ownership of
another of Henry's wives, Anne of Cleves, but her death in 1557 meant
that it was subsequently owned by a number of families including the
Waldegraves, the Humphreys, and the Meade Waldos. Gradually it fell
into decline before William Waldorf Astor invested time, money, and
imagination in restoring the castle. He commissioned the 'Tudor Village'
which lies behind it, now called the 'Astor Wing', and construction of
the magnificent gardens and lake.
All photos on this page contributed by copyright © P
L Kessler, reproduced with permission.
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