Yesterday we went to visit friends who just recently moved to Hever. So we took the time to have a look around Hever Castle and it’s adjacent gardens. It was a sunny beautiful day and the castle and grounds were stunning.
I forgot my camera so I did a quick sketch (yeah – didn’t forget my watercolours strangely enough). The gardens lead to a lake which is just phenomenal with archways and stone statues of beautiful people, gods and angels and roses everywhere. I really thought it was impressive and they do weddings there all the time. Imagine getting married there…wow…
And then there is the history of course. Not having a British education I only know about the whole Henry the VIII story from movies and documentaries. Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s 2nd wife – who gave birth to Elli the 1st and later got her head chopped off. There are love letters of the two to be found in the castle and it was funny to find out how similar the notions are to modern love letters once you get over the different use of language. The also have an array of all his wives and a bit of history about them, which I thought was fabulous and then there was contemporary artwork all throughout from Holbein to Titian.
The large garden wasn’t added until the 20th centuary and constructed as a pleasure garden. I can really see that . Just having watched “The Great Gatsby” recently you could really feel that it was something from that era. Very lavish and extravagant, but also just simply stunning. There was a hedge maze and even a water maze, but I didn’t have time to delve into that.
If I’d live closer, I would go there more often, for painting and relaxing, just like Winston Churchill did, whose letters to the then owner John Jacob Astor can also be found in the castle. Very recommendable!