Opening to the public on Wednesday 8th June, Astor’s Garden Legacy brings the rich heritage of the Hever Castle gardens to life.
Tracing the restoration and development of the gardens from Tudor times to the present day, this interactive garden exhibition fuses archive imagery and informative display panels with modern technology.
Launched to coincide with VisitEngland’s ‘Year of the English Garden,’ visitors will be able to scroll through evocative ‘then’ and ‘now’ images on iPads, and browse magazine articles about the Castle and gardens, written in the early 1900s.
Garden lovers will unearth facts about William Waldorf Astor’s ‘grand design,’ and an activity bench featuring a maze puzzle and wooden topiary peg jigsaw will keep the kids entertained.
Housed in a refurbished 19th century potting shed, visitors to Astor’s Garden Legacy will glean fascinating insights such as:
- Hever Castle and Gardens was subject to two devastating floods, in 1958 and 1968
- William Waldorf Astor spent over £1 million creating the gardens and lake (in excess of £110 million in today’s money)
- The 38-acre lake was hand dug by 800 men over just two years
The Hever Castle Gardens
Laid out between 1904 and 1908, the Grade 1 listed gardens transformed 125 acres of marshland and rough meadow into classical gardens and natural landscapes.
Central to the design is the award-winning Italian Garden, which showcases Astor’s unique collection of Greek and Roman statuary acquired when he was American Ambassador to Italy.
The Tudor Garden is another popular area of the Hever Castle gardens and was designed to look much as it would have when Anne Boleyn lived at the Castle with her family.
Astor’s passion for the Tudors and love of Italy, together with his wealth and imagination, resulted in one of the most spectacular Edwardian gardens in England. Across the estate the extensive formal and informal gardens are further enhanced by water features, shrubberies and herbaceous borders which have been added over time.
Astor’s Garden Legacy is a permanent display which gives visitors a rare insight into the design and creation of the stunning Hever Castle gardens. Entrance to the garden exhibition is included in the normal admission price.