On Friday 29th July Year 1 and 2 visited Hever Castle in Kent as part of their Knowledge and Understanding the World topic on Castles. The children were treated to a guided tour of the castle, where they learnt about the rich and varied history of Hever Castle which spans more than 700 years.
The original medieval defensive castle, with its gatehouse and walled bailey, was built in 1270. In the 15th and 16th centuries it was the home of one of the most powerful families in the country, the Boleyns, who added the Tudor dwelling within the walls. The Castle became the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife, who later became Queen of England for just 1,000 days.
Hever later passed into the ownership of another of Henry VIII’s wives, Anne of Cleves, and from 1557 onwards it was owned by a number of families including the Waldegraves, the Humphreys and the Meade Waldos. Gradually it fell into decline before William Waldorf Astor invested time, money and imagination in restoring the Castle. He commissioned the ’Tudor Village’, now called the ‘Astor Wing’ and the construction of the magnificent gardens and lake.
After the tour, the children enjoyed a picnic in the beautiful grounds surrounding the castle. In the afternoon we did a scavenger hunt around the walled gardens and lake. There was also an opportunity for the children to sit and sketch the castle. The children all thoroughly enjoyed the trip with many saying they would like to visit Hever again!