Friday, 19 June 2015

A day amongst the Roses...

Hever Castle
Nestled in the picturesque countryside on the Kent /Surrey/Sussex borders is one of this country's most historic houses/castles. Originally built in 1270 Hever Castle rose to historic fame in the 15th and 16th centuries as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. 
Henry V111's bed & The Astor Room
Anne subsequently became Henry V111's 2nd wife, and has often been stated as his one true love as he renounced Catholicism and created the Church of England in order to marry her over just taking her as his mistress. Anne sat as Queen of England for only 1,000 days before being found guilty of treason and subsequently beheaded at the Tower of London, leaving a daughter Elizabeth who went on to be Queen Elizabeth 1.
The castle has had many owners including the famed Astor family and it is still privately owned to this day by the Guthrie family.
The gardens of Hever Castle

Hever is famed for many things, but for one week of the year its most famous for its rose garden and this week on an indulgent day off I headed around the M25 to visit this little piece of history.
Hever Castle Rose Garden
The grounds of Hever are glorious and are easily worth a trip without visiting the castle; originally designed in 1904/08 by Joseph Cheal. 
The main garden was designed to display William Waldorf Astor's collection of Italian sculptures, including a 38-acre lake amongst the 125 acre 's. Many of the water features have been inspired by fountains and spaces in and Rome; including the Trevi fountain.Recent additions to the garden include a Water maze and a Yew maze popular with many school children that were on a visit when I was there!
My main reason for the visit was to see the Rose Garden;
rose garden

The Rose Garden features over 4,000 roses which are planted in blocks of colour, displaying both their vibrancy and scent to its maximum.Along with the beds of English roses, the garden features many climbers which wander over the columns and walls of the garden; creating a magical entrance into and out of the space and showcasing the architecture to its most glorious.
Nestled behind the Rose Garden in the Italian Gardens is the Guthrie Pavilion which was the perfect location for a coffee & cake stop and a chance to rest and admire the view over the great lake.
The lake took 2 years to create and was dug continuously, except Sundays by 800 men between 1904 and 1906. The lake features an Itallian Loggia and a Japanese Tea house Folly.




Along with the beautiful roses, flowers and fauna Hever Castle is the perfect Haven for wildlife. The wildflower meadow outside the Boleyn Wing and Astor Court (available for bed & breakfast stays!) has the most delightful Bee hives. The moat, rivers and lake provide the perfect habitat for nesting birds, ducks and swans.




The day prior to my visit Hever had held a Spitfire day day and the remnants were still around to see, which was much fun for me & the visiting school children.

As you can see (apologies for the photo overload!) Hever Castle is a delightful place to visit, whether you are a fan of history or gardens it is definitely worth the trip. With a wide range of events and things happening in and around the castle throughout the year, I am sure that it won't be my only visit. A glorious day topped off with the most perfect weather for a day in the country.

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Friday, 19 June 2015

A day amongst the Roses...

Hever Castle
Nestled in the picturesque countryside on the Kent /Surrey/Sussex borders is one of this country's most historic houses/castles. Originally built in 1270 Hever Castle rose to historic fame in the 15th and 16th centuries as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. 
Henry V111's bed & The Astor Room
Anne subsequently became Henry V111's 2nd wife, and has often been stated as his one true love as he renounced Catholicism and created the Church of England in order to marry her over just taking her as his mistress. Anne sat as Queen of England for only 1,000 days before being found guilty of treason and subsequently beheaded at the Tower of London, leaving a daughter Elizabeth who went on to be Queen Elizabeth 1.
The castle has had many owners including the famed Astor family and it is still privately owned to this day by the Guthrie family.
The gardens of Hever Castle

Hever is famed for many things, but for one week of the year its most famous for its rose garden and this week on an indulgent day off I headed around the M25 to visit this little piece of history.
Hever Castle Rose Garden
The grounds of Hever are glorious and are easily worth a trip without visiting the castle; originally designed in 1904/08 by Joseph Cheal. 
The main garden was designed to display William Waldorf Astor's collection of Italian sculptures, including a 38-acre lake amongst the 125 acre 's. Many of the water features have been inspired by fountains and spaces in and Rome; including the Trevi fountain.Recent additions to the garden include a Water maze and a Yew maze popular with many school children that were on a visit when I was there!
My main reason for the visit was to see the Rose Garden;
rose garden

The Rose Garden features over 4,000 roses which are planted in blocks of colour, displaying both their vibrancy and scent to its maximum.Along with the beds of English roses, the garden features many climbers which wander over the columns and walls of the garden; creating a magical entrance into and out of the space and showcasing the architecture to its most glorious.
Nestled behind the Rose Garden in the Italian Gardens is the Guthrie Pavilion which was the perfect location for a coffee & cake stop and a chance to rest and admire the view over the great lake.
The lake took 2 years to create and was dug continuously, except Sundays by 800 men between 1904 and 1906. The lake features an Itallian Loggia and a Japanese Tea house Folly.




Along with the beautiful roses, flowers and fauna Hever Castle is the perfect Haven for wildlife. The wildflower meadow outside the Boleyn Wing and Astor Court (available for bed & breakfast stays!) has the most delightful Bee hives. The moat, rivers and lake provide the perfect habitat for nesting birds, ducks and swans.




The day prior to my visit Hever had held a Spitfire day day and the remnants were still around to see, which was much fun for me & the visiting school children.

As you can see (apologies for the photo overload!) Hever Castle is a delightful place to visit, whether you are a fan of history or gardens it is definitely worth the trip. With a wide range of events and things happening in and around the castle throughout the year, I am sure that it won't be my only visit. A glorious day topped off with the most perfect weather for a day in the country.

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