Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Hever Castle

Hever Castle is Anne Boleyn's childhood home. That's what it's famous for and the trust that owns it has duly filled it with Tudor portraits and mannikins dressed in codpieces and wimples. 

But actually- though the outside is authentic enough- the interior is an early 20th century fake. No, fake is too severe- reconstruction would be kinder. The German-American Waldorf Astors- not content with having a salad and a muppet named after them- snapped  up the house c.1900 (in the process of buying their way into the English aristocracy) and turned it into an all-panelled, all-be-tapestried Tudor fantasy- and very pretty too. Less pretty and much less tasteful is the collection of torture implements and executioner's swords. Would you display a duffed-up Mercedes at Althorp House? No, I thought not.

When the Most Haunted team visited Hever earlier this year they failed to contact Anne who- I should hope- has long since moved to a better place. Instead (if I remember right) they bumped into a housekeeper (it's so often the servants who hang around) and a nasty Machiavellian priest (period unspecified). They thought it was a nice, comfy house with a few uneasy corners- and so it is. When we visited on Staurday it was full of Dutch tourists and every room- in honour of something called "Rose Week"- featured a quite spectacular and gloriously scented floral display. 

The gardens (I'll deal with them separately) are something else.

(The woman at the window is my sister, Jenny)
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