Hever Castle

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameHever Castle
Alternative NamesHevre
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishHever

Late C13 - early C14 keep with links to square towers at East and West, all battlemented. License to crenellate 1340. New wood footbridge over moat to portcullis in slightly projecting centrepiece of late C14 (another license of 1384) with machicolation above. Back wings of circa 1500, also in stone, with steep tiled roofs and mullioned and transomed windows. Windows inserted in old keep at similar period. Within courtyard restored exposed framing. Interior much restored in early C19. Hever Castle was the home of Anne Boleyn. It changed hands several times until purchased by Mr W W Astor in 1903, when J L and F L Pearson added "The Village" a picturesque cluster of guest cottages. 2-storeys, or one storey and attic, irregular buildings. Some roofs tiled, some of Horsham stone, many gables; some jettied 1st floors. Upper floors mostly half timbered with plastered filling. Ground floors mainly roughly coursed stone with some brickwork. Some timbers carved. Little loggia, around angle of building nearest to Castle, leads to covered bridge over moat. (Listed Building Report)

William de Hever, in the reign of king Edward III. became possessed of the whole of this manor, and new built the mansion here, and had licence to embattle it; soon after which he died, leaving two daughters his coheirs; one of whom, Joane, carried one moiety of this estate in marriage to Reginald Cobham, a younger son of the Cobhams of Cobham, in this county; whence this part of Hever, to distinguish it from the other, acquired the name of Hever Cobham. (Hasted)

Gatehouse Comments

Supposed licenses to crenellate dated 1271 (to Stephen de Penecestre, called 'mythical' by Emery, but is actually in the rolls), 1340 (which is not in the rolls and not otherwise identified) and 1383 (to John Cobham and well recorded in the rolls); Emery dates the gateway and walls to this licence of 1383. Where this reference to a licence of 1340 comes from is unclear but seems quite erroneous despite occurring in all the official records of the castle. This erroneous licence does seem to have effected the dating of the castle and all records that use this date must be considered critically. The 1340 licence seems to come from Hasted who actually gave no date and cites no source. This is much repeated, usually without any citation even to Hasted and never to a primary source. William Hever was sheriff of Kent tempus Edward I and received grant of free warren for Hevre in 1280 (Cal. Chart. Rolls Vol. 2 p. 246). There does not seem to be a primary source reference to a William de Hever (aka Hevre, Heure, d' evere) tempus Edward III (There are many secondary source references but all seem to related to Hasted on the very rare occasions any source is cited). Hasted is usually a reliable scholar but no one is perfect and there seems to be a mistake here. Most probably the grant of free warren of Edward I has been mistranscribed as of Edward III (although Hasted had mentioned this earlier). There remains a question as to if the original enrollment of this grant does include licence to crenellate not mentioned by the usually careful calendarists.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ478452
Latitude51.1869010925293
Longitude0.113849997520447
Eastings547820
Northings145200
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright James Stringer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

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Books

  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 233, 261
  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 355-7, 440
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 46-8
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 121
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 231
  • Guy, John, 1980, Kent Castles (Meresborough Books)
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 244
  • Smithers, David Waldron, 1980, Castles in Kent (Chatham)
  • Oswald, A., 1933, Country Houses of Kent
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Kent Vol. 1 p. 430-431 online copy
  • Ditchfield, P.H., 1907, 'Penshurst Place' in Ditchfield and Clinch, Memorials of Old Kent (London) p. 228-37 online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 21-3 online copy
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 1 (London) p. 294-301 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 304-5, 403 online copy
  • Hasted, Edward, 1797 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 3 p. 190-202 online transcription
  • Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel, 1774, Buck's Antiquities (London) Vol. 1 p. 131

Journals

  • Hall, M., 2014 July 30, ‘Castle of luxury; Hever Castle, Kent part 2’ Country Life p. 38-45
  • Goodhall, J., 2014 July 23, ‘A celebrity castle; Hever Castle Kent part 1’ County Life p. 46-50
  • Coulson, Charles, 2007-8, 'On Crenellating, in Kent and Beyond - A Retrospection' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 21 p. 189-201 esp p. 194
  • Aslet, C., 1981, 'Hever Castle, Kent - I' Country Life Vol. 169 p. 18-21
  • Kenyon, J.R., 1981 'Early Artillery Fortifications in England and Wales: a Preliminary Survey and Re-appraisal' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 209
  • Kenyon, J.R., 1977, 'Early Gunports' Fort Vol. 4 p. 83
  • Tipping, 1907, Country Life Vol. 22 p. 522-35, 558-66
  • Leyland, 1897, Country Life Vol. 2 p. 266-8
  • W.D., 1873, The Antiquary Vol. 3 p. 121-25
  • 1839, The Gentleman's Magazine Part 1 p. 29-33 online copy

Guide Books

  • Anon, n.d. (c1990), Hever Castle (Hever Castle Ltd)
  • Astor, G., 1966, Hever Castle and Gardens

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1913, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1266-72) Vol. 6 p. 507 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1897, Calendar of Patent Rolls Richard II (1381-85) Vol. 2 p. 326 online copy