Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, Kent. It began as a country house, built in the 13th century. From 1462 to 1539, it was the seat of the Boleyn (originally 'Bullen') family.
Anne Boleyn, the second queen consort of King Henry VIII, spent her early youth there after her father, Thomas Boleyn, inherited it in 1505. The castle passed to him upon the death of his father, Sir William Boleyn. It later came into the possession of King Henry VIII's fourth wife, Anne Cleves. (Nice guy...)
There have been three main periods in the construction of this historic castle. The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and a walled bailey. The second period was when the castle, then in need of repair, was converted into a manor in 1462. They added a Tudor dwelling within the walls. The third period of repair and renovation was in the 20th century, when it was acquired by William Waldorf Astor.
four acres, the long sweeping lawns and tall clipped yew hedges form
the central area of this magnificent garden, bordered by two twelve foot
high walls made from local stone.
On the north side is the Pompeiian
Wall which contains small bays showcasing antiquities in stone and
marble enveloped with shrubs and climbing plants.
Along the south side
runs the Pergola Walk with its shaded grottoes planted with ferns and
moisture loving plants.
Hidden in its centre behind a tall hedge lies
the Sunken Garden, an oasis of peace and quiet.
The Loggia at
the lake end of the garden is flanked by pillared colonnades and
descends by balustrade steps to the piazza below with its classical
sculpture inspired by the Trevi Fountain in Rome. This is a man-made lake.
Winston Churchill stayed at Hever Castle. I've included some of his paintings of the castle and the Italian garden