Thursdaydoors – Hever Castle

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

The original castle was built by William de Hever in 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and walled bailey. In 1462, Anne Boleyn’s great-grandfather, Geoffrey Boleyn, purchased the castle. He extended it and converted it into a private home. When the Boleyn family moved into Hever in c. 1505 they converted it into a comfortable Tudor home.

Anne Boleyn, together with her siblings Mary and George, is likely to have spent a good deal of her childhood here prior to being sent to join the court of the Archduchess Margaret in 1513.

After the demise of Anne and Thomas Boleyn, the castle became the property of Henry VIII. In 1540 he gave it to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, as part of a very generous annulment settlement.

After this, the castle had several owners including the Waldegraves, the Humfreys, and the Meade Waldos. In 1903 the American millionaire, William Waldorf Astor, purchased Hever. He went about restoring the castle, building the Tudor village, and creating the beautiful gardens and lake.

Entrance to Hever Castle
A picture of Hever Castle from a distance
Doors to a bookcase inside Hever Castle
A medieval suit of armour – the visor is like a metal door
Gardens at Hever Castle

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50 thoughts on “Thursdaydoors – Hever Castle

  1. I remember going to Hever Castle as a child on a family outing. I fear I was too young to really appreciate its history, but remember the gardens being lovely. Your photos bring back the memory.

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  2. Thanks so much for including the history, Roberta. It’s just amazing to me that this was being built and changing hands hundreds of years before any building of substance was being considered in our country. I would love to visit a castle like this. Seeing your wonderful photos might be as close as I get.

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  3. Wow–that was a culture desperately in need of a little feminism. The sheer arrogance of Henry giving Anne Boleyn’s house to his fourth wife as an annulment settlement–well, it just boggles the mind. I recently read a book that blasted English history as being merely the study of which wives fat Henry had killed. They should have read some of your posts. : )

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    1. Hi Cathleen, thank you for visiting. There is truth in the claim that English history does seem dominated by the evil Henry Tudor. I am very interested in the lives of everyday people living in the UK throughout history, and especially during the Victorian era.

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      1. The Victorians were fascinating, weren’t they? Such a study in contrasts. And so accessible, too, because unlike earlier eras, we have photographs. And at least in the US, there was such a sense of time passing and of technology marching on, that serious attempts were actually made to chronicle the lives of ordinary people. Matthew Brady, for instance, with his pictures of the Civil War soldiers, and all the Wild West shows that toured from the late 1800s until WWI.

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      2. Yes, you are right about it being more accessible and, therefore, easier to write about. I tend to gravitate towards stories about things like baby farming, chimney boys, and kids down mines which I believe should be remembered. We have to remember history to try and avert making the same mistakes.

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      1. I guess for me Henry the eight and his wives is always the bit of school history lesson I remember the most. And guy fawkes, the fire, the plague, and tutor and roses. I don’t recall anything that well

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  4. Roberta, Such a beautiful castle and gardens. This castle is not far from London and now I’m wondering why I missed visiting it when I was in London. Thank you for sharing its history and your beautiful photos. #ThursdayDoors

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  5. Beautiful photos, Robbie. I love that walled garden and the view of the place from a distance. It looks like a fairytale castle. And interesting history too. Most of all, I’m glad it’s been preserved.

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    1. Hi Diana, the British preserve everything. Lots of places are historical sites and are protected, even houses that are privately owned and people live in. My cousin couldn’t make any changes to her house or do renovations that weren’t approved by the historical preservation society.

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