Hever Castle is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Located near Edenbridge, the country house was built in the 13th century and from 1462 to 1539 it was the home of the Boleyn family, originally the “Bullen” family. Thomas Boleyn, born there in 1477, inherited the house in 1505 from his father, William Boleyn. The entrance to Hever Castle is easy to find. It is right across the street from St Peter and Paul Church in Edenbridge.
The big burgundy tree is where the ghost of Anne Boleyn can sometimes be seen. She courted with Henry VIII under this tree.
Let’s visit the castle!
There have been three main periods of construction to the historic castle. The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and walled courtyard.
In 1462 Geoffrey Boleyn converted the castle into a Tudor manor house. Thomas Boleyn lived here with his wife Lady Elizabeth Howard and their children George, Mary and Anne. Anne lived here until she was sent to the Netherlands in 1513, to study at the court of Archduchess Margaret.
After the death of Thomas Boleyn, in 1539, the property belonged to King Henry VIII and in 1540 he gave Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife, the property as part of an annulment settlement of their marriage. This is the second property we have toured, (the first being the Priest House in West Hoathley), that was given to Anne of Cleves in her annulment settlement. She did quite well by just giving Henry what he wanted with no fuss!
The last period of repair and renovation was in the 20th century when the property was bought by William Waldorf Astor in 1903. The American millionaire made the castle his family residence and restored the run down property and added an Italian garden to display his collection of statuary. Today the property is owned and managed by Broadland Properties Limited. This collection of cottages, restaurant, and B&B would be perfect for your stay! It ‘s like living in a fairy tale!
The estate is run as a conference center, but the castle and grounds are open to the public, but no pictures are allowed inside the castle. The castle offers three floors containing antique furniture, Ann Boleyn’s prayer books, instruments of torture and a large collection of Tudor paintings. The grounds are used for many seasonal activities, including a Christmas Walk and an International Christmas Walk in November and December.
The bridge over the river is the place where Ann Boleyn’s ghost can be seen crossing on Christmas Eve!
To book your stay at Hever Castle see HERE! The castle and grounds are fabulous! Now let’s go see the beautiful Italian Gardens that William Waldorf Astor made here!