De Hever – 13th century

William de Hever is believed to be the first owner of Hever Castle. William was a descendant of a Norman baron who came to England during the Conquest and became Sheriff of Kent in 1272, the first year of Edward I’s reign. When William died the manor of Hever was divided between his two daughters, Margaret and Joan. The sisters were married to brothers William and Reginald Cobham. It has been suggested that Joan purchased her sister’s half of the manor thus bringing all Hever into her ownership and that of the Cobham family.

Hever Castle Owners

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.