Cobham – 14th century

Hever Castle descended through the Cobham family until, in 1362, John Cobham of Devonshire made the Castle his principal residence. John was a tax collector and a Justice of the Peace in Sussex and Surrey. In 1383 John was granted a licence to crenellate the Castle by Richard II. In 1392 he was appointed a deputy to Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, as constable in the Court of Chivalry and accompanied Richard II to Ireland as an Esquire of the Household. John died in 1399 and was buried under the belfry at St Peter’s Church in Hever with his second wife Joan Lewknor and their son Reynold. His will reveals that he provided for £30 to be spent on his funeral and twenty poor men to stand vigil over his tomb for forty days.


The Castle


The original medieval defensive castle with its gatehouse and walled bailey was built in 1270. In the 15th and 16th centuries the Bolyens added the Tudor dwelling within the walls. The Castle was then owned by a number of families before William Waldorf Astor invested time, money and imagination in restoring the Castle, building the ’Tudor Village’ and creating the gardens and lake.


The coats of arms in the stained glass in the Long Gallery of the Castle commemorate the different residents of Hever Castle since it was built including: Anne of Cleves, William de Hever, Anne Boleyn and Sir John Fastolf. Learn more about the symbolism behind these designs.


Discover the history of Hever Castle, its owners and inhabitants as you travel through time from its construction in 1270 to the present day. These easy-to-use timelines enable you to learn more about key events and how the past owners have shaped the estate we see today.

Tours & Trails

Bring 700 years of Hever Castle history to life with one of the following: an audio guide, a private guided tour or purchase a guide book from the Hever Shop when you visit. Enjoyable trails to follow with young visitors to the castle can also be downloaded.