castles (part3)


So, the last castle we actually went to visit properly was Hever Castle, only 30 mins drive from my mum and dads house.

Hever Castle is another fairytale castle, complete with moat, drawbridge and portcullis, surrounded by sculpted parklands with a maze and a Tudor village too. Its a fabulously beautiful place. Similar to the others, it has its foundations in 13th Century, with the earliest parts dating from 1270, which is pretty freaking old. The Castle as you see it today dates from Tudor times (1500’s) when it was owned by the Bullen family, who had one famous member, Anne Boleyn, who grew up there as a child. The castle changed hands into Anne of Cleeve’s family after Henry VIII lopped off Anne’s head and eventually into the hands of famous American industrialist William Waldorf Astor in 1903, who completed expensive and probably vastly expensive restorations to leave it in trust in the condition you see today.

So, Ella, Henry and I had a wonderful day exploring – it was a gorgeous warm sunny spring day too, so we had lots of fun in the maze and gardens before wandering around the castle looking at Anne Boleyn’s bedroom, her bedhead from her childhood and even the book she had with her when she was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Ella had been studying Henry VIII last year so she was very impressed with seeing history face to face as it were.


The daffodils were out in force in their formal gardens, so you look across the river that feeds the moat and lake across a sea of yellow towards the castle and Tudor village that the Astor’s built.



All in all, an awesome day – the kids played in the adventure playground until it was starting to get late and were so tired by the end of it that they slept the whole way back in the car 🙂 Job done!

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3 Comments on “castles (part3)

  1. All of these (in all your castle part posts) are so gorgeous. The kids are so lucky that they get to visit places like this! It makes me wish I had anything this historical near where I live just so I could go hang out there.

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    • Yeah, I think people who live in Europe forget how lucky they are to have all that history laid out and visible infront of them.

      Its not that the US doesn’t have history, its just relatively modern history. Mind you, compare that to Australia and it looks like the Palaeolithic – the Aboriginal people, despite having been around unchanged for as long as almost any other tribal culture on earth have left almost nothing permanent save for some rock art.

      The UK is steeped in history that changed the shape and course of nations – from the early henge builders through to the Roman occupation, the Vikings, Norman conquest, the war of the Roses, Henry VIII and his break with Catholicism – all of these things had massive repercussions around the world and we can (well, I can’t any more) go see evidence of them whenever we like.

      Charles Darwin’s house? no problem.
      Canterbury Cathedral – focus of so many pilgrims and important writing during the dark ages? no problem
      Site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when Harold got an arrow in the eye and the course of history in England and Europe changed completely? no problem
      Kings and Queens dynasties through the ages, all laid out. and its marvellous.

      Perhaps no more than a historic curio these days, but its that kind of length of history and identity I think people crave and probably why loads of Americans call themselves “something Americans” (Irish, Anglo, African (thats a can of worms right there) Chinese etc) – to associate themselves with something deeper in history and give themselves an anchor in the world.

      Australians are the same, only more so, as there there is bugger all here thats older than 150 years apart from that (admittedly impressive and old) rock art. The entire place where I live was nothing but virgin coast and bush 30 years ago. Perth was just a 2 horse town even 100 years ago.

      All that said, I’d love to come and see some of the history of the US – all that colonial/civil war stuff is fascinating. I *still* can’t believe we Brits lost that one!! lol 😉

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  2. Pingback: Summer in England 2016 – part 2 – Hever Castle | Charlie's World

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