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Hever Castle is an outstanding location with magnificent gardens and stately home. The grottoes at Hever Castle were built in the early 20th century by Viscount Astor, They contain no subterranean caverns instead consist eighteen rocky alcoves, each with two fountain heads supplying water to a pool. At one end there is a small rock built chamber. The grottoes are part of an impressive Italianate garden that includes many statues and other treasures acquired in Italy, some being over 2000 years old.
The Italian Garden was created between 1904 and 1908, replacing what was formerly marshland. The contractor was Joseph Cheal and Son. The inspiration for the colonnade of alcoves and the many other water features in the garden was the Renaissance Villa d'Este in Rome.
Picture left - Tivoli, Villa d'Este Viale delle 100 fontaine (Particulare) compared with Hever below.
Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Bolyeyn, one of Henry VIII's wives. The castle dates to 1270 and consisted of the gatehouse and a walled bailey. In the early 1500s the Boleyn family bought the Castle and added a Tudor dwelling within the curtilage. It later passed into the ownership of Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. From 1557 onwards the Castle was owned by a number of families including the Waldegraves, the Humphreys and the Meade Waldos. Then, in 1903, William Waldorf Astor acquired the property and totally refurbished the buildings and grounds, creating the gardens and lake.
1. Waterfall by the grottoes.
2. Fountain overlooking the lake from the Italian Gardens.
3. The grottoes.
4. Hever Castle.
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GREAT BRITISH GROTTO GRADING
Below: Estate map indicating the location of the grottoes.
On private property, Open set times only
Access by Road, Access on Foot, Disabled Access, Entry Fee, Grotto with extensive rock gardens, Part of a larger tourism attraction, Restaurant/Food, Retail Souvenir Shop, Toilets, Tourism Information
Country town/village, Park or Garden
England - Southern
THE GROTTO GRADING FEATURES PRESENT
+Cared for and maintained in good condition, +External rock structures, either real or simulated, +Sacred spring or integral water feature, +Stunning setting and location, GRADED FOUR