I am finally catching up with some photo editing and posting. In mid-September, my sister came to visit from Australia for a fortnight. We spent quite a few days visiting royal buildings, or those with royal connections. The first of these was Hever Castle - which was the home of the Boleyn family. Hever is in Kent, and is only about 10 miles from where I now live.
The property was built as a country home in the 12th century and came into the possession of the Boleyns in the mid 1400's. Anne Boleyn spent her childhood here, and also lived here during the period in which she was courted by Henry VIII.
After the death of Anne's father, Henry VIII took possession of the castle, later bequeathing it to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleeves.
Like many properties of its period, the castle fell into some disrepair, until it was purchased by William Waldorf Astor at the beginning of the 20th century. He undertook some extensive renovations, so whilst the outside of the castle looks Tudor and even earlier, parts of the interior are definitely Edwardian. Astor did restore many rooms sensitively to their Tudor origins - he even completed a large extension to house staff and visiting guests...but designed it to look like a Tudor village.
The lake and beautiful colonnades were also developed during Astor's ownership.
Although we visited at the very end of summer, there was still some lovely sights in the gardens...
There were even some locals to greet us as we arrived!