Hever Castle has added a new waxwork Minstrel to its display of costumed wax figures in the Long Gallery. The collection includes Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, as well as her sister, Mary, and illustrates three key events in Anne’s life at the Castle.
The new waxwork depicts a minstrel playing his lute – a popular form of musical entertainment in Tudor England. It adds to the exhibition ‘The Life and Times of Anne Boleyn’ installed last year which bring 16th century Hever Castle vividly to life.
H&H sculptors, who created the original waxworks for the exhibition, produced the new installation. The fabulous bespoke costume worn by the new minstrel is authentic in style and fabric and the footwear used is the same as that featured in the recent BBC production Wolf Hall.
As the waxwork minstrel is positioned upon steps, careful measurements had to be taken to ensure that he sat perfectly in place. Creating a mould for the minstrel’s hands also proved a challenge. Re-enactor Kit, who plays the lute at Hever Castle events, demonstrated how he plays the instrument to provide a reference from which a life cast was taken and the mould created.
The new minstrel can be seen next to a waxwork of Anne reading a love letter written by Henry VIII, following her return to Hever to escape rumours surrounding the King’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon.