Behind the scenes tours for Feb and Mar visitors

February 07 2024 | Castle

Visitors to Anne Boleyn’s childhood home in February and March will have a chance to take a behind the scenes tour ahead of the opening of a new Boleyn Apartment which offers a unique and immersive experience of Tudor history.

Hever Castle will unveil the newly re-interpreted apartment on the first floor of the castle on Monday 25th March – the only surviving suite of rooms in the world that the Boleyn family definitely occupied.

But while the works are taking place from 7th February – 24th March 2024 visitors can pay £3 (first come first served, bookable on the day) to take part in a behind the scenes tour to find out more about the re-interpretation and see rooms which are closed to castle visitors take shape.

The daily tours, lasting around 30 minutes, will allow visitors to see works going on in the closed rooms from the Library to the Queens’ Chamber.

Visitors taking the special tour can find out more about the number of books in the library collected by former owner William Waldorf Astor and some of the carvings in the ornate room. In the Morning Room (to be renamed the Parlour) they can find out more about how the room would have looked in Tudor times and see a sample of the rush matting which will go on the floor to create an authentic experience.

In Anne Boleyn’s bedroom (the Children’s Bedchamber) they can find out more about how the space was used by Anne, Mary and George and see examples of Tudor toys as well as a painting of how the space looked in 1866.

Visitors will continue into the Book of Hours Room (The Great Chamber), the heart of the private suite of rooms occupied by the Boleyns, a colourful and symbolic space. Rich fabrics will cover the walls and friezes will be added as well as coats of arms.

The Queens’ Chamber (The Best Bedchamber) would have been used by Anne Boleyn’s parents, Thomas and Elizabeth and later on by Anne herself. A 15th century four poster bed is in this room to show how a traditional Tudor bedchamber would have looked.

Authentic furniture will be in the new suite of rooms and staff undertaking the work will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions.

Visitors do not need to purchase castle tickets to undertake the tour but should they wish to further explore the Castle they will need a castle ticket or upgrade at the castle entrance.

The re-interpretation of these rooms is a major undertaking and has been planned and researched for over a year by Hever Castle’s Curatorial team, with advice from historian Dr David Starkey.

The re-interpretation will also see items from Hever Castle’s permanent collection relocated, such as the Book of Hours prayer books signed by Anne Boleyn which will be displayed to visitors in another room.