Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, Kent, near Edenbridge, 30 miles south-east of London, England. It began as a country house, built in the 13th century. From 1462 to 1539, it was the seat of the Boleyn family. Anne Boleyn, the second queen consort of King Henry VIII of England, 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 of Cleves
The oldest part of the castle dates to 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and a walled bailey. It was then owned by James Fiennes, 1st Baron Saye and Sele.
The second period was when the castle, then in need of repair, was converted into a manor in 1462 by Geoffrey Boleyn, younger brother of Thomas Boleyn, Master of Gonville Hall, Cambridge. He 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.
Hever Castle is now a tourist attraction, drawing on its links to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, its mazes, gardens and lakes. There is an annual event programme with assorted events, including jousting tournaments and archery displays in the summer months and an annual patchwork and quilting exhibition in September. The castle has also become the venue for a triathlon and open water swimming. The castle offers three floors containing antique furniture, Anne Boleyn's prayer books, instruments of torture, and a large collection of Tudor's paintings. There is also a museum of the Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry.