Posts Tagged ‘castle’

Hever Baby One More Time

16 May 2009

This is not a joke.

I just looked at the “Current location” on my facebook and saw Egham, England, and it sort of just re-hit me about where I’ve been living since January. It’s kind of unbelievable. Just when I think I’m getting used to it, the specialness gets renewed in some way or another. 

Is it possible to be nostalgic for something that isn’t over yet?


Speaking of hitting, I’ve been in another “dancing around historical sites in England” video with Miranda and Phoebe. This time, we bust our moves about the grounds of Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.

Her loneliness was killing her.
Little did Anne Boleyn know that when she said she wanted Henry VIII to “hit her one more time,” he would.
With a sword.
That cut off her head.

It makes (a little bit) more sense if you consider the inspiration…

Oh Britney. Those were the days.

Arriving in Hever was a lot like arriving in Chawton. Except that instead of a bus, we got off of a train in the middle of nowhere, and it was a bit more of a wander through the quaint country lanes

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until we found the castle.

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Really, I’d say it seemed like more of a manor house than a castle because it was kinda smallish, but Castle it is. It was built in the late 1200s by William de Hever (thus the name?) and, as mentioned, was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and her family. Then it was hers, and after she lost her head, it passed on to Henry VIII (imagine that) who ended up giving it to Anne of Cleves (wifey iv) when they got divorced.

More recently, and by recently I mean circa 1900, William Waldorf Astor (yes, as in the New York Astors) bought and restored it, as well as designed most of the gardens that are still there.

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The castle was pretty, but the gardens were absolutely STUNNING, especially since everything seemed to be in bloom.

And it smelled good too. Believe me, I checked.

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And I thought thatched roofs (which Hever has too) and half-timbered houses were the pinnacle of quintessential English-ness, but public footpaths have to be in there too!

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These are paths that go through fields and such all across England.

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I was nearly peeing myself with the Life Romance of walking on one.

Here, Miranda demonstrates how you use the little contraption to climb over the fences.

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Hever is ranking right up with Winchester/Chawton in my imaginary list of English day trips.

The video shows the highlights of the sights, but here’s the link to the rest of my photos.