After our Murder Mystery weekend, it seemed quite appropriate on our way home, to stop off and visit Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. I was surprised to learn that most of what the visitor sees today is the result of the work carried out by the wealthy American businessman, William Waldorf Astor. He bought the castle in 1903 and spent a lot of his fortune restoring Hever, even building a village in the Tudor style, connected to the rear of the castle by a covered bridge, so that his friends and family could stay there in comfort, whilst filling the castle with antique portraits and furniture.
The castle sits in such a peaceful setting and looking at it, through what the guidebook told me was Anne Boleyn’s orchard, I wondered just how much of what is there today would be familiar to her and decided, sadly, that the answer is probably not much. Anne became Henry VIII’s second wife and although Queen for just 1000 days, it was his love for her and her refusal to become his mistress that led to some of the most tumultuous events in British history. It is also what continues to bring visitors to Hever Castle in their thousands every year.
Drawbridge and moat
A view of the Tudor village
A view of the castle through Anne Boleyn’s orchard