Tuesday, July 30, 2013

UK Trip #28: Arrival at Hever Castle - The Gardens

Hever Castle's Extensive Garden
Tom and Rob de-stressing in the Hever Garden after a harrowing drive
On Saturday, June 22, we finally arrived at the town the housed Hever Castle. Okay, so I know it's a castle, and I know that I should expect a long driveway, but a mile or two of driveway out of a town?  Really? Yup.

This Blog contains 2 short Video Tours of the Castle's famous gardens (see below)

WHAT IS HEVER CASTLE? Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, Kent, near Edenbridge. It's 30 miles south-east of London, England (but driving there took 2 hours!)  It began as a country house, built in the 13th century. From 1462 to 1539 it was the seat of the Boleyn, originally 'Bullen', family. Remember Anne Boleyn and her Tudor period connection? That's why we visited the castle!

  WHO WAS ANNE BOLEYN? Anne Boleyn (c. 1501– May 19, 1536) was the second wife of King Henry VIII, and was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 . She was also the Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation.
     Anne's parents were Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard. Anne was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honor to Claude of France. Anne came back to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond. That wedding never happened, however because Anne secured a post at court as maid of honor to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon. That's how Anne caught Henry VIII's eye,


Tom poses near a dog statue
Rob and Tom at the Italian Garden fountain
WHO LAST OWNED THE CASTLE? - William Waldorf Astor (March 31, 1848 — October 18, 1919) was a wealthy American attorney, and the only son of John Jacob Astor III. In 1903 William purchased the castle and restored it to use as a family residence. Since 1983 the castle has been owned by Broadland Properties Limited. The estate is now run as a conference center, but the castle and grounds are open to the public.

Rob in the garden
HEVER CASTLE'S AMAZING GARDENS - There are a number of different gardens around the castle (and you have to go through several of them to get to the front entrance of the castle. The spectacular gardens at Hever Castle were laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal & Son. It was a marshland when they purchased the land, and they turned it into amazing and extensive gardens. These were not the gardens that Anne Boleyn saw when she lived here. The gardens didn't exist in her time. 

In the Tudor Garden, Rhododendron Walk we walked along Anne Boleyn’s Walk with its collection of trees planted over 100 years ago!

Tom in front of a garden set up he liked!
According to the Castle's Website: Hevercastle.co.uk, the Italian Garden was designed to display William Waldorf Astor’s collection of Italian sculptures. Over 1,000 men worked on the great design with around 800 men digging out the 38 acre lake at the far end of the Italian Garden – taking two years to do so!

Within four years the 30 acres of classical and natural landscapes were constructed and planted.  125 acres of the garden has now reached its full maturity and includes the colorful walled Rose Garden which contains over 4,000 plants.



Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next