The Servants’ Christmas

December 19 2023 | Castle History

Christmas has always been a magical time of year here at Hever Castle. We’ve looked back at some accounts from the servants who spent the festive season here under the residence of the Astors.

The Reader family worked at the Castle as servants, with their two children. One of their children recalled the party in the servants hall:

“Christmas was the best time of all really. It was lovely here at Christmas… as children they used to take us into the party… The Astors would give you a party and hand out presents”

Lil and Fred, the parents of the family seem to have been of particular importance to the Astors at Christmas:

“We used to come over every Christmas Eve into the castle, and have carol singing and Lord Astor used to love it. He used to get my husband (who hasn’t got a voice at all), and he always got him to sing Good King Wenceslas, it was dreadful! And we used to have mince pies and sherry…

And Lady Astor, I used to come on that particular day and do her hair for her, and she used to say ‘I’ll see you later but I’ll have my nighty on,’ and she used to come down in her nighty, made of her Jacob sheet wool… and she’d say ‘Look, I’ve got it on.’

It used to be really nice, that used to be the real start of Christmas here”

Today, spending Christmas at Hever Castle is as magical as it ever was. Astor Family Christmas - Inner Hall crop