This photograph of the Council Chamber dates to 1900. In the Victorian era this room was known as the Saloon. The stone spiral stairs led up to a small gallery from which narrow access was gained to the roof.
During William Waldorf Astor’s restoration of the Castle between 1903 and 1905 the Victorian panelling was removed, an old window to the right of the fireplace was revealed, the medieval garderobe (toilet) was discovered to the right of the door, and a new room was created above on the same level as the small gallery.
The Gothic tracery over the fireplace in the Council Chamber is one of the artefacts that has been on display in the Castle for the longest – since the ownership of the second Jane Waldo in the 19th century. It was mentioned in issue 405 of the Penny Magazine, 28th July 1838:
The Gothic tracery over the fireplace is extremely beautiful, both in design and execution. It consists of two angels, each bearing two shields, showing the arms and alliances of, 1. The Carey and Boleyn families; 2. Carey and Waldo; 3. Boleyn and Howard; 4. Henry VIII and Boleyn.
You can visit the Council Chamber on your tour of Hever Castle and see how different it now looks after Astor’s renovations.
To find out more about Hever Castle’s interesting history, please see our archives.