Pictures of Hever
The beautiful town of Hever is dominated by the magnificent moated castle that was the girlhood home of Anne Boleyn who was the second ill-fated wife of King Henry VIII.
The oldest part of this historic castle dates 1270 when it was little more than a fortified farmhouse. The Bullen family purchased it in the early 1500's and it is they who built the comfortable crenellated mansion that became the romantic castle we see today. Anne gave King Henry a daughter who later became Queen Elizabeth Ist but Henry soon tired of Anne when he realised she was unlikely to provide him with the son and heir that he craved. Henry quickly disposed of Anne and in time this great castle passed into the possession of Henry's 4th wife, Anne of Cleeves.
Hever Castle, and the 14th-century church of St.Peter have remained very much at the heart of this town which receives visitors form all over the world. Within the church , in the chancel is a 15th-century brass to a Lady but of greater importance is the one on an alter-tomb in the north chapel to Sir Thomas Boleyn, the father of Anne Boleyn who died in the year 1538. He lies with his head rested on his helmet and is resplendent in full gater robes.
To not visit this historic castle and church is to miss out on a rich and varied chapter in English history which stretches back over many centuries. The double moated castle is filled with the finest 16th-century furniture and many beautiful objects, including personally inscribed prayer books belonging to Anne Boleyn.
In the year 1903 the castle was bought by the American Millionaire, William Waldorf Astor who spent a vast fortune and a great deal of time and imagination on restoring the castle to it's former glory. Betwen the years that span the period 1904 to 1908 on the instruction of William Waldorf Astor the gardens were laid out by Joseph Cheal. The Italian garden is simply stunning and has many beautiful roman statues. The Tudor garden has a Yew hedged maze and the Rose garden, a place of quiet reflection, is spectacular in high summer when the roses are in full bloom. The 35 acre lake is also a place of quiet serenity. Wander these grounds in the hush of evening when the last of the sun's rays are fading fast, glance across the great lake and you will swear you saw The Lady Anne, a laughing young girl, happily enjoying a stroll with a band of friendly courtiers - this is the magical effect the Castle at Hever has on all who visit her!
Attractions close to Hever include; the Tudor village of Chiddingstone, Penshurst Place, the Town of Edenbridge and at nearby Haxted there is a Watermill and museum.
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