Hever Castle | Anne Boleyn’s Childhood Home

Hever Castle is a beautiful medieval castle located in England and has been called one of the most romantic and picturesque buildings in Europe.

Almost everybody who loves castles and English history should visit Hever Castle.

In particular it was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII.

hever castle

Where Is Hever Castle?

where is hever castle?

Hever Castle is located near the village of Hever, Kent, near Edenbridge. This area is about 30 miles southeast of London, England.

The castle stands on an island in the River Darent, about two miles from its mouth at Graveney Marsh. 

When Was The Castle Built And By Whom?

Hever Castle was built by William the Conqueror and his son Henry I in the 11th century. This castle has been used as a royal residence for over 1000 years.

It is surrounded by a moat and has a drawbridge leading to the entrance. There are four towers within the walls of the castle which  were added during the reign of King Edward III.

What Is The History Of Hever Castle?

The Normans

Hever Castle | Anne Boleyn's Childhood Home 1

The history of Hever Castle begins with King William the Conqueror who ordered the construction of this castle as a hunting lodge in 1067. It was originally called ‘Newenham’ but later became known as ‘Hever Castle’.

In 1155, Henry II began building the first tower of Hever Castle. In 1220, the king gave the castle to his daughter Eleanor of Provence.

The Plantagenets

Hever Castle | Anne Boleyn's Childhood Home 2

She married Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and they lived here until her death in 1241. After that time, the castle passed into the hands of several other families.

In 1337, Edward III started work on the second tower of the castle. During the 14th century, the castle was owned by John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon, and then by Thomas Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.


Hever Castle | Anne Boleyn's Childhood Home 3

During the 15th century, the castle changed owners many times. However it had its most famous owners during this time: the Boleyn Family. It was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home.

It ended up under the ownership of Queen Elizabeth I.

Civil War

Hever Castle | Anne Boleyn's Childhood Home 4

After the English Civil War, the castle was taken over by Oliver Cromwell and remained in the hands of the Parliamentarians until 1649 when Charles I surrendered the castle to them.

During the 17th century, the castle went through many changes. In 1642, the castle was besieged by Parliamentary forces led by General Fairfax. They captured the castle after three days of fighting.

In 1643, the castle was given back to the Royalists and was occupied by King Charles II. However, in 1648, the castle was again seized by the Parliamentarians.

In 1660, the castle was returned to the Royalist cause and was occupied by King James II. However, in November 1688, the castle was once again seized by the Parliamentarian forces.

Later Years

In 1810, the castle was sold to Sir George Villiers, 1st Baronet. He restored the castle and made some additions.

In 1910, the castle was bought by the National Trust. Since then, the castle has been open to the public.

Visiting Hever Castle Today

hever castle opening times

There are lots of things to see at the castle including the Great Hall, the Chapel, the Library, the Kitchens, the Dining Room, the Staircase and more. There are also beautiful gardens and an orangery.

You can even stay overnight in one of the rooms inside the castle. You will have your very own ensuite bathroom and there is tea and coffee making facilities.

The castle is open every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Guided tours start at 11am and last about 2 hours.

It can be reached via junction 10 of the M23 (one of the motorways that starts at London, heading south), and is signposted from junctions 5 and 6 of the M25 and the Hildenborough exit of the A21.

Trains to nearby Edenbridge Town Station (about 3 miles away) can be caught from London Victoria and London Bridge stations.

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