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)