Anne of Cleves – 16th century

In 1540 Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. Henry’s decision to marry Anne was based on a portrait miniature painted by Hans Holbein. The marriage was made for political reasons but ended in divorce six months later. Henry VIII awarded her the honorary title of ‘The King’s Sister’, £500 a year, a sufficient household and two houses. In addition, he allowed her to lease a number of manors to enhance her status and income, including Hever, at an annual rent of £9-13s-3½d. Anne settled happily in England and became good friends of the King and Anne Boleyn’s daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I. 

Anne owned Hever Castle until her death in 1557, during her occupancy she made a number of alterations to the castle and, spent a good part of her time here. There are a number of surviving letters written from Hever by Anne to her brother, William, Duke of Cleves in German archives, but the only surviving letter in a British Institution was written by Anne to Mary Tudor in 1554 signed ‘from my poore house of Hever’.

The Castle


Uncover the history of the 14th century Castle once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, Sir John Fastolf and William Waldorf Astor.


Uncover more about the 12 different families that have owned Hever Castle from 1383 to the present day. See the stained glass created to commemorate them.


Discover the history of Hever Castle, its owners and inhabitants as you travel through time from its construction in 1383 to the present day.


Head inside the Castle and discover wood panelled rooms, roaring fireplaces and a vast collection of paintings.