Sunday, 1 September 2013

Hever Castle

Today we drove to Hever Castle began as a cuntry house, built in the 13th century. From 1462 to 1539 it was the seat of the Boleyn, originally 'Bullen', family. Ann Boleyn, the second queen consort of King Henry VIII of England, spent her early youth there, after her father, Thomas Boleyn had inherited it in 1505. He had been born there in 1477, and the castle passed to him upon the death of his father, Sir William Boleyn. It later came into the possession of King Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

There have been three main periods in the construction of this historic castle. The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and a walled bailey. The second period was when the castle, then in need of repair, was converted into a manor in 1462 by Geoffrey Boleyn, younger brother of Thomas Boleyn, Master of Gonville Hall, Cambridge. He added a Tudor dwelling within the walls. The third period of repair and renovation was in the 20th century when it was acquired by William Waldorf Astor.

Geoffrey's grandson, Thomas Boleyn, inherited the castle in 1505. He lived there with his wife Lady Elizabeth Howard and their children George, Mary and Anne (the future wife of Henry VIII). It is not known if Anne was born at Hever (the year of her birth is not certain) but she lived there until she was sent to the Netherlands in 1513 to receive an education at the court of the Archduchess Margaret. Henry VIII often used the nearby Bolebroke Castle to conduct his courtship with Anne.

Drawing Room

Dining Room


Tudor Chess Set

Italian Garden

They had a miniature model house exhibition which was just amazing with the most exquisite doll houses fully decorated in period miniature furniture etc.

After seeing the Castle we drove to East Grinstead a town and civil parish in the northeastern corner of Mid Sussex, West Sussex in England near the East Sussex, Surrey, and Kent borders. The town has many historic buildings and is located on the Greenwich Meridian. It is located in the Weald and Ashdown Forest lies to the south of the town.

The High Street contains one of the longest continuous runs of 14th-century timber-framed buildings in England. Other notable buildings in the town include Sackville College, the sandstone almshouse built in 1609 where the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas" was written by John Mason Neale. The adjacent St Swithun's Church, stands on the highest ground in the town and was rebuilt in the eighteenth century (the tower dating from 1789) to a perpendicular design by James Wyatt; its imposing building dominates the surrounding countryside for many miles around. In the churchyard are commemorated the East Grinstead Martyrs. The Greenwich Meridian runs through the grounds of the historic 1769 East Court mansion, home of the Town Council. The mansion stands in a parkland setting. 

Sackville Almshouse

Martyrs in St Swithun's Church Yard

Inside St Swithun's Church

East Grinstead Bookshop is the quintessential English book shop, full to the rafters of wonderful books. Tudor House boasts many interesting features. With black and white beams, unique cork oak cladding, fascinating carved faces, is one really the head of Anne Boleyn?

Carving of Ann Boleyn

The only building in England cork oak cladding

Cork Cladding
For over 400 years the imposing buildings comprising Judges Terrace, which adjoin the picturesque High Street of East Grinstead, have been considered some of the most prestigious in the Town, with history showing their connection in early days with the law. Clarendon House, built in about 1485 and the adjoining Old Stone House, built in about 1590 were used until the early 19th century by Judges holding Winter Assizes in Sussex. The buildings became the lodging house for the Judges including, according to local legend, the notorious Judge Jeffries. Judicial punishments were frequently administered outside the doors of the buildings, from whipping and hangings, to the burning at the stake of the East Grinstead Martyrs during the reign of Queen Mary.

Clarendon House

Old cinema building bombed in WWII killing 100 people

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