Hever Castle (Kent)
Hever Castle began as a country house, built in the 13th century. From 1462 to 1539 it was the seat of the Boleyn, originally ‘Bullen’, family. Anne Boleyn, the second queen consort of King Henry VIII of England, spent her early youth there, after her father, Thomas Boleyn had inherited it in 1505. He had been born there in 1477, and the castle passed to him upon the death of his father, Sir William Boleyn. It later came into the possession of King Henry’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
Hever castle offers much to see, antique furniture, Anne Boleyn’s prayer books, instruments of torture, and a large collection of Tudor paintings. There is also a museum of the Kent Yeomanry. The remains of the original country house timbers can still be seen within the stone walls of the fortification, while the gatehouse is the only original part of the castle.
The grounds of the castle include a famous yew maze, planted in 1904, and the castle gardens contain a wide range of features including an Italianate garden, rose gardens, a herb garden, and interesting topiary shapes.
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