As part of the Jubilee Celebrations this weekend, we spent a glorious day at Hever Castle!
kent, the garden of england
Hever Castle is situated in the English County of Kent, near Edenbridge, around 30 miles South-East of London. Kent itself, is a beautifully verdant County, often nick-named ‘The Garden of England.’ When driving through the pleasant leafy lanes and pretty villages, it’s not hard to see why. Kent is home to acres and acres of ancient woodland and is choc-full of beautiful gardens, both public and private. It’s generously peppered with historic places of interest to visit, such as Chartwell (home of Wiston Churchill), Sissinghurst and Canterbury Cathedral originally founded in the year 597!
Hever Castle may not be quite as old as that, but its history does span back some 700 years! Built in 1270, it was originally a medieval defensive castle with gatehouse and walled bailey (a courtyard enclosed by a Curtain Wall). During the 15th and 16th Centuries, it became the home of the Boleyn’s, one of the most powerful families in the country.
Hever was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the tragically ill-fated second wife of King Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn, Queen for 1000 days, was the mother of Elizabeth I, and played a huge role in England’s departure from Catholicism and the start of the Reformation.
As the centuries passed, the Castle gradually fell into decline. In 1903, it was bought by William Waldorf Aster, a wealthy American man with a passion for History. He poured much money and time into restoring the castle and its extensive grounds, commissioning a Tudor Village, and creating the huge lake that was dug out by hand!
Today, the castle is still privately owned, but has become a much-loved place for the public to visit, attracting visitors from all over the world, all year round. There is always something interesting going on at Hever, including jousting, open air theatre showings, concerts, fireworks displays and all sorts of other events. You can even get married at Hever! Can you imagine?
Without further ado, I really hope you enjoy some of the photos from our visit. Apparently, we didn’t manage to see everything – which is always the perfect excuse to go back!
Some of the Queen’s Corgi’s were missing around the castle grounds during our visit!