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Anne Boleyn Places

Tower of LondonTrue Anne Boleyn fans will want to visit the places where Anne Boleyn lived, walked and was imprisoned. To walk the same paths as she did, to see the sights she did and to visit the place of her darkest moments – there’s nothing quite like it!

Well, if you watched the brilliant Channel 4 (UK) Time Team Special “Henry VIII’s Lost Palaces a few months ago, you will know that Whitehall Palace, the palace that Henry VIII designed with Anne’s help and where he married her, no longer exists. Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire in 1698.

But don’t lose heart, there are still many other Tudor places to visit.

Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Although Hever Castle is known as Anne Boleyn’s family home, she was actually born at the original family home, a manor house in Blickling, Norfolk. The manor house no longer exists but the Jacobean house, Blickling Hall, now stands on its former site. You may want to visit this National Trust property on 19th May because Anne Boleyn’s ghost is said to haunt the hall on the anniversary of her execution. Apparently, a carriage pulled by headless horses with a headless coachman arrives at the hall and a headless Anne Boleyn gets out carrying her severed head! Anne then roams the hall’s corridors until daybreak when she disappears.

Blickling Hall is also said to be haunted by Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne, on the date of Anne’s execution. This is the man who stood by as his daughter and son, George Boleyn, were executed for high treason, incest and adultery. Thomas Boleyn died in 1539 and legend has it that as penance, for the untimely deaths of two of his children, he must cross 12 bridges before cockcrow on 19th May. With his ghostly coach of headless horses, he starts at Blickling and crosses bridges at Aylsham, Belaugh, Burg, Buxton, Coltishall, Hautbois, Meyton, Oxnead and Wroxham.

More information about visiting Blickling Hall can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-blicklinghallgardenandpark.htm and the myths surrounding the hall can be read at http://norfolkcoast.co.uk/myths/ml_blickling.htm

Click here for how to get to Blickling Hall.

****Between now and August, Blickling Hall have got a special Anne Boleyn Exhibition, “The New Masque of Anne Boleyn Exhibition”, to celebrate 100 years since the 1909 play, The Masque of Anne Boleyn, which recounted the events leading up to Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII. See the National Trust website for further details.****

Hever Castle, Kent

This castle in Edenbridge, Kent, was the family home of the Boleyns and Anne’s childhood home. The castle actually dates back to the 13th century, but the Boleyns added a Tudor house to it in the 1500s. When Anne Boleyn was executed and her family fell from grace, Henry VIII seized the castle and later gave it to Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife.

Hever Castle

At Hever Castle, you can see the famous portraits of Henry VII, Elizabeth of York, Prince Arthur, Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. For us Anne Boleyn fans, the castle is also home to The Anne Boleyn Book of Hours, Anne Boleyn’s personal prayer book which bears the inscription “Le Temps Viendra, Je Anne Boleyn” meaning “The Time Will Come, I Anne Boleyn”.

This year, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne, there is also a special exhibition at the castle “The Pampered Prince”. You can also see armour, instruments of torture and execution at the castle, as well as enjoy the gardens, maze and lake.

See the Hever Castle website for further details and click here for information on how to get to the castle. You can also download a PDF of the visitors’ leaflet - http://www.hevercastle.co.uk/Portals/0/uploads/files/leaflet_download.pdf

Hampton Court Palace, Surrey (near London)

Hampton Court PalaceOnce the open of Cardinal Wolsey, this sumptuous palace was seized by Henry VIII when Wolsey fell from grace and was then extended and renovated by the king. It is actually still standing today and is open to the pulbic, who can enjoy its beauty and its many attractions.

Find out more at our specialHampton Court Palace page, you can even see a video montage of photos of the palace.

The Tower of London, Tower Hill, London

The Tower of London is where Anne Boleyn was imprisoned after her arrest and where she was the first English queen to be publicly executed.

TowerAnne was tried for treason, incest and adultery in the Lieutenant’s Lodgings of the Tower of London, but her ghost is said to haunt the Queen’s House, which wasn’t built until after her death – strange! She was then executed on 19th May 1536 on Tower Green. Her body is still buried within the Tower walls, in the Church of St Peter ad Vincula.

This year, as well as seeing Tower Green, the famous Tower ravens and Crown Jewels, you can visit the special “Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill” exhibition which is the largest collection in the world of armour that once belonged to this famous monarch. Click here for more details.

You can find out even more about the Tower of London at our special Tower of London page.

Getting to Anne Boleyn Places

I have already given links for directions on how to get to each place when you are actually in the UK, but first you need to get to the UK!

London is where you need to head for to see most of the Tudor sights and Hever Castle is not too far from London. Blickling Hall is the odd one, being in Norfolk, but Anne was only born there so you might not want to bother with the journey.

International travellers flying into London generally choose to fly into London Heathrow or London Gatwick. Both are outside of the city but you can catch the Heathrow Express or Gatwick Express (trains) into the city.

Shop around for flights and hotels using brokers and comparison sites like Priceline.com or Expedia to get the best deal.

8 Responses to “Anne Boleyn Places”

  1. john says:

    Blickling Hall is in Norfolk not Kent as stated! What about Rochford Hall?

    [Reply]

    Claire Reply:

    Hi John, Sorry, the last “Kent” in the last bit was supposed to be “Norfolk” and I had actually written earlier all about Blicking being in Norfolk. I haven’t yet got round to writing about Rochford Hall but hope to get some time to soon.

    [Reply]

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Claire,

    Anne’s sister Mary was supposed to have given birth to a son who she had with King Henry VIII. What became of him? Did he marry when he was old enough and have children of his own and where are is decendents now?

    Karen.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Hi Karen

    Not sure if I am able to help. As Mary was already married and Henry’s mistress, it is only speculated (although highly likely) that Mary’s son was actually the child of Henry’s, so much would not have been documented about his life, only that he was cousin to Elizabeth.

    Sarah

    [Reply]

  3. nick power says:

    I’m trying to locate a former home of Anne Boleyn that was given to her by Henry Book that is available to rent as a holiday home. I have a picture, the easiest way to describe it is it looks very Shakespearean in apperance and I’m sure its located Warwickshire or Wiltshire/Somerset area.

    [Reply]

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  5. Linda Joyce says:

    There are recorded visits of Anne to a house called the Vyne which I think still exists, and Sutton Place, near Send in Surrey, which used to belong to JP Getty but I think is now used for corporate functions. Also I think Leeds castle in Kent.
    Anyone finding themselves in Richmond, Surrey, would do well to browse around the little that’s left of Richmond Palace. There is still the window from which Elizabeth I’s ring was thrown on her death to be taken to her successor.
    My late aunt used to stay at an hotel near Weybridge called Oatlands, which had Tudor connections; there was the palace of Nonesuch; and in Ewell village it is said there are underground passages linking some of these sites.

    [Reply]

    Linda Joyce Reply:

    I have just come back from a week’s holiday in Norfolk where I picked up a booklet called Open Churches. Sadly, Blinkling’s wasn’t open (I had been there about 30 years ago) but to my delight, the church in the village of Salle (I now know pronounced SAWL, population 51) was. What a lovely afternoon spent all on my own in there. Stood by Queen Anne’s grave of her great-great- grandparents, still with the original brasses.

    Did Queen Anne herself (and Mary and George?) stand there and pray for the souls of her ancestors, which would have been customary/

    Loads of original woodwork (treated for woodworm), medieval pulpit and a font with a crane to lift the cover. Original tiling on the floors.

    Altogether a wonderful experience for us of her earthly court, and on leaving the churchyard, the first primrose of spring.

    [Reply]

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