Over the past few years, I've been lucky enough to visit a number of places that Anne Boleyn knew, so I thought I'd share with you some of my very favourite photos.
The Boleyn family moved to Hever Castle, in Kent, from Blickling Hall, in Norfolk, in around 1505 and Hever is the place Anne would have called 'home'. She lived there until summer 1513, when she was sent to join Margaret of Austria's household in Mechelen, and the home she would have returned to in late 1521/early 1522 after her recall from France to serve Queen Catherine of Aragon. When Henry VIII started pursuing her, it's the haven she retreated to and it is also where she fought against the serious illness sweating sickness and pulled through.
The castle still stands today and it is a beautiful place to visit. Although the decor has changed, Anne would recognise its rooms and I love going around it touching the walls in case the Boleyns touched that spot! She wouldn't recognise the gardens or the lake, but I include photos of those because they're just so stunning. Most of these photos were taken on the Anne Boleyn Experience Tour when I stayed at Hever - that is an incredible experience and I can't wait to be back there in May.
The Royal Châteaux of Blois and Amboise
Anne served Queen Claude, queen consort of King Francis I of France, from 1515 to 1521 and so would have resided with the queen at both Blois and Amboise.
Hampton Court Palace
This stunning palace was built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey who then gave it to King Henry VIII, who by this time was courting Anne Boleyn. Anne visited the palace with the king on a number of occasions and their HA badge can still be seen in the Great Hall. The palace is well worth a visit.
The Tower of London
Although the Tower is generally associated with the awful events of 1536, Anne also stayed in the royal palace there just before her coronation in 1533. Of course, she was imprisoned there in May 1536 and she was executed within the Tower confines on 19th May 1536.