Humphreys – 18th century

Sir William Humphreys had been created a baronet in 1714 when he was Lord Mayor of London and married Margaret Wintour by whom he had a son, Orlando. His second wife was Ellen Lancashire. Orlando inherited the baronetcy and the Hever estate on the death of his father in 1735, there followed a series of tragedies which were to result in the family selling the Castle eighteen years later.

Sir Orlando married his stepsister Ellen, from her mother’s first marriage. They had three sons and two daughters, but tragically two of his sons died. Orlando was an ill man and during his lifetime he gave Hever to his surviving son Robert, who died in 1736 at the age of 28, a year before his father. As Robert had no children, the estate passed to his two sisters but the family’s misfortune followed his elder sister Mary. 

Mary’s husband, William Bell Waring, died in 1746 and she married her second husband, John Honeywood, who died two years later. Mary’s mother, Ellen, remarried in 1746 taking Charles Gore, MP for Hertfordshire, as her second husband. Meanwhile, Mary married her third husband, Thomas Gore, uncle to her mother’s new husband – thus becoming both daughter and aunt to her mother. In this complicated situation it became difficult to decide who owned the Castle and they agreed to sell the estate in 1749.


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.