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Hever Castle

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Hever Castle 069

Hever Castle from the front

Hever Castle is the ancestral domain of the Boleyn family in The Tudors.  Owned by Thomas Boleyn, Lord of Rochford, at the start of the series, it is passed to his son George after Boleyn becomes Earl of Wiltshire.  However, the castle is confiscated by the crown when George is convicted of incest with his sister, Queen Anne Boleyn, in episode 2.09 (for which George and Anne are both unjustly beheaded).  King Henry subsequently gifts it to his fourth wife Queen Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce settlement.  The castle and its' grounds are physically shown in Seasons One and Four, and in a brief flashback in Season Two.


Appearances inThe TudorsEdit

The Boleyns are shown to stay at Hever for most of Season One.  Anne initially entertains the poet Thomas Wyatt (her former lover) at Hever in episode 1.03 but soon rebuffs him when she is brought to court as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon.  She subsequently uses Hever as a means to escape the pursuits of King Henry, who is becoming infatuated with her and sends her many love letters; her brother George, also staying at the castle, frequently reads them with her.

Henry finally visits the castle itself in episode 1.05 and asks her to become his mistress, but she refuses; however, not long after she agrees she will marry him and bear him children if he will 'honor her maidenhead' until his first marriage is annulled.  Anne later returns to Hever with her family to avoid the sweating sickness outbreak in episode 1.07; although she nonetheless catches the disease, she recovers.

When Thomas Boleyn is appointed Earl of Wiltshire in the season finale, the castle and its' land are passed to George, who receives his father's previous title of Lord of Rochford.

At the end of Season Two, after George is executed for treason, the castle and its' property come into the possession of the Crown.  The night before her execution, Anne has a flashback of playing happily in the castles' maze and gardens with her father and brother as a little girl.

The castle makes a brief reappearance in Season Four. When Anne of Cleves accepts Henry's demand for an annulment at the end of Season Three, Edward Seymour informs her that she is to receive Hever and all its' lands as part of her settlement, as a reward for her compliance.  During Season Four, Anne frequently invites her former stepdaughters to Hever, maintaining her friendship with them.  In particular, she often hosts and tutors Elizabeth- ironically, the daughter of the deceased Anne Boleyn, to whom Hever was an ancestral home.  Henry visits her at Hever in episode 4.03 while she is instructing Elizabeth in dance; he gives Elizabeth a thoughtful gift and spends a pleasant few days with Anne that culminates in the two of them sleeping together (though he does not take her back as his Queen).

DesignEdit

Hever is a relatively small, well-kept stone castle, situated on the coastal plains just south of London.  It is definitely intended as a residence than as an actual fortress, despite the small moat surrounding it; its' towers are only three to four stories high, and lack battlements.

The interior is dominated by a large, two-leveled ornate dining hall, the walls decorated with antlers from hunting trophies.  Most other rooms in Hever are barely decorated; Boleyn was a nobleman of minor standing when he first entered Henry's favor.

The grounds of the castle, by contrast, are vast, and include fields, forest and an elaborate hedge maze and gardens.

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