The Boleyn Apartment on the first floor of Hever Castle has opened its doors, offering groups an immersive experience which transports them back in time to the Tudor period. 

The Great Chamber at Hever Castle, Kent

The great Chamber at Hever Castle makes up part of its new space for groups to see.

The apartment is the only surviving suite of rooms in the world that the Boleyn family definitely occupied, with the space being re-interpreted with Tudor artefacts and furnishings.

Hever Castle in Kent is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife. Rooms in other houses lived in by the Boleyn family, in the UK and Europe, have either been destroyed or modified beyond their recognition meaning Hever is the only place to step foot in the spaces they once did.

The influence of Anne, her siblings Mary and George, and parents Thomas and Elizabeth are easy to see as you enter the Parlour (previously the Morning Room), before climbing the spiral staircase to the Children’s Bedchamber (formerly Anne Boleyn’s Bedroom), passing through to the Great Chamber (formerly the Book of Hours Room) and into the Best Bedchamber (formerly the Queens’ Chamber).

Spring time at Hever Castle & Gardens in Kent

Source: Ollie Dixon

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn offers groups the chance to explore Tudor life.

The use of tapestries, friezes, furniture, coats of arms and traditional smells help visitors feel like they are walking in the shoes of the family who once lived there.

Castle historian Kate McCaffrey said: “We wanted to create an immersive series of rooms that lets the visitor step back in time to the world of Anne Boleyn and her family – Hever’s most famous inhabitants.

“We have an incredibly rare, unique opportunity to use these rooms as they would have been used and sell them as the only place in the world that you can go to enjoy a real, authentic Boleyn experience.”

The Children’s Bedchamber shows what life was like for Anne Boleyn as a child at Hever Castle and letters and a writing desk will be in the Best Bedchamber, the location where Anne is thought to have written to Henry VIII during their courtship.

What to look out for

The Great Chamber demonstrates the multi-functional purpose of the room and artefacts such as lutes, poetry and replica books. French influences are included as the Boleyns were a family at the forefront of the cultural Renaissance in Europe.

The re-interpretation of these rooms is a major undertaking and has been planned and researched for over a year by Hever Castle’s curatorial team, with advice from historian Dr David Starkey.

Elsewhere, groups cn learn about former owner William Waldorf Astor’s vision on the ground floor. Once the richest man in America, he bought the castle in 1903 with a view to making it a show-piece house, in which to entertain and show off his art collection.

Astor was fascinated by the Tudors and drew inspiration from other houses of the era, such as Hampton Court Palace. So much so, that he insisted that all the finishes be done using 16th century style tools such as adzes (a flat faced axe) rather than modern (Edwardian) planes and saws.

Groups (15+) visiting Hever Castle benefit from discounted tickets, along with free coach parking, a dedicated member of staff to help plan the day, and special group menus. More information is available at