Best places to stay in Kent: Art at Hever Castle

Accommodation, History

art at hever castle

Historian David Starkey has described the art at Hever Castle as the best collection of Tudor portraits outside the National Portrait Gallery in London.

But many visitors looking for the best place to stay in Kent might not know that there is also an impressive art collection housed in the 5* bed and breakfast, adjoining the Castle.

The walls of the Astor Wing, which houses 28 bedrooms, are adorned with portraits and paintings.

Of particular significance are four pictures from a series done by Renold Elstrack of monarchs of England. There are more from the series in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

There are also several pieces by impressionist artist Dorothea Sharp, one of owner Mrs Faith Guthrie’s favourite artists. In 2008 Dorothea was the subject of an exhibition at the Castle celebrating the 100th anniversary of its renovation by former owner William Waldorf Astor.

Ballerina Lydia Lopokova is the subject of an unfinished painting in the Astor Wing by Augustus John and you can also see a portrait of Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher by June Mendoza.

Staff take conservation of the art at Hever Castle very seriously and every five years they are assessed by conservator Francis Downing who reports on any needing work and a priority list.

• Guests looking for the best place to stay in Kent can stay in the Astor Wing or the Anne Boleyn wing or the 5* gold rated holiday cottage, Medley Court. To find out more or book click here

The Astor Wing is also used for conferences, private parties and weddings.

Read about David Starkey’s work on the Long Gallery.

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