Waldegrave – 16th and 17th centuries

When Anne of Cleves died in 1557 the Hever estate reverted to the Crown. In that year Sir Edward Waldegrave, a member of Mary Tudor’s Council, had been appointed one of the Commissioners for the sale of Crown land and promptly assigned himself the Castle and estate of Hever. When the Catholic Queen Mary died and the Protestant Elizabeth I came to the throne, Sir Edward was deprived of his appointments and was arrested for allowing Mass to be celebrated in his house. Sir Edward was sent to the Tower of London and remained there until his death in 1561.

Edward’s son, Charles, had risen in the world with his father, becoming a Privy Councillor and Master of the Queen’s Horse. However, with the downfall of his father, Charles lost all his appointments and retired to Hever Castle with his wife Jeronyma. As a Catholic, he could play no further part in national affairs and so he spent time refurbishing the Castle. 

When Charles died in 1589, his son Edward adopted Hever Castle as his principal residence. In 1642, at the age of seventy, Edward raised a regiment of horses and joined Charles I in the Civil War. He was created 1st Baronet of ‘Heaver’ Castle but died two years later.


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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.