Featured image of Hever Castle

The History of Hever Castle

LocationHever, County Kent, England (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byBroadland Properties Limited
Official WebsiteHever Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Weddings, Filming, Occasions, Meetings)

Built in the 13th century, Hever Castle and gardens is a country house located in the village of Hever in County Kent, 30 miles southeast of London. The castle is famously linked to the Crown and has hosted many royal family members. The castle was also home to Queen Anne Boleyn and is now open to the public as a tourist attraction.


The castle’s history dates back to 700 years. The first fortification constructed on the site consisted of only a walled bailey and gatehouse. This was the original medieval defensive castle built in the year 1270. During the 14th century, moat walls, towers, and other buildings were added to the castle. The third period of repair was done during the 20th century. The castle is immensely famous for its association with the story of Queen Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. It was inherited by Geoffrey Boleyn’s grandson, Thomas Boleyn, in 1505. He lived there with his wife and children, namely George, Mary, and Anne. It is not certain that Anne was born in the castle, but she lived there until she was sent to the Netherlands for further studies.

Anne Boleyn is famously known to be King Henry VIII’s second wife. After returning to England, Anne lived at King Henry’s court for quite some time and attracted many eyes. In 1527, King Henry initiated secret proceedings to get his marriage with Catherine of Argon annulled since his passion for Anne strengthened. He wanted to get rid of his Queen by declaring his first marriage null and void. In 1533, after many heated debates with Pope Clement VII, the couple announced their union on Easter, and Henry’s first marriage with Queen Catherine was declared void. In September, Anne gave birth to a girl, the future Queen Elizabeth I. However, the marriage between Anne and King Henry did not work out when she failed to produce a male heir for the throne and was subsequently beheaded on the claims of adultery and incest.

The property of Hever Castle changed many hands, including the Waldegrave family, the Humphreys family, and the Meade-Waldo family. The castle was also leased to private tenants during the later periods due to its poor condition. In 1903, American millionaire William Waldorf Astor purchased the castle and initiated its repairs. He also restored it and used it as his family residence until the Astor family sold the castle to Broadland Properties Limited, which the Guthrie family ran. The castle is currently owned and managed by Broadland Properties Limited.


Hever Castle
Hever Castle”, by Beverley Goodwin, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The castle is very famous amongst its admirers due to it being the childhood home of Anne and a haven of the British Royal family. The castle has terrific bedrooms encircled by giant mazes, gardens, and lakes. It is a three-storey fortification displaying antique furniture, Anne Boleyn’s prayer books, instruments of torture, and an extensive collection of Tudor’s paintings. It also has a museum of the Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry. The gatehouse remains to be the only original part of the castle since the others were subsequently damaged. The castle is one of the only castles in England that has its portcullises intact and working.

Hever castle also has 125-acre award-winning gardens. It has over 4,000 rose bushes in the quintessential English Rose Garden. Overlooking the 38-acre lake is the Loggia, a perfect spot to relax before exploring the many cascades, grottoes, and fountains. Apart from the Rose Gardens, the castle also has a Tudor garden, Italian garden, Blue Corner or Rhododendron Walk, and much more. Hever Castle’s nature and wildlife are also abundant and have received the Kent Wildlife Trust Silver Award. The castle is also plentiful in bees, birds, mammals, and trees. It is open to visitors and also hosts many tours and events for their benefit.

Movie Features

The Great (2020): Shot at Hever Castle, the movie discusses the life of a royal woman living in rural Russia during the 18th century. She is forced to choose between her own happiness and the future of Russia when she marries an Emperor.

The Princess Bride (1987): This adventurous movie has a few scenes shot at Hever Castle. The movie discusses a young boy’s encounter with numerous obstacles, enemies, and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.

Inkheart (2008): The famous book Inkheart was filmed into a movie at the Hever Castle. The story is about a young girl and her adventures across, bringing the fictitious characters out of novels.

Anne of Thousand Days (1969): The movie discusses the actual story of Anne and King Henry after he abandons his wife Catherine of Argon and marries Queen Anne.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Hever Castle?

Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, County Kent, near Edenbridge, 30 miles (48 km) southeast of London, England. The castle was a seat of the Boleyn family.

Who owns Hever Castle?

Hever Castle had initially been the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. It is currently owned and operated as a five-star luxury castle by Broadland Properties Limited.

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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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