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Day 11 of the Anne Boleyn Files Advent Calendar

Posted By on December 11, 2018

I can’t believe that we’re on day 11 already! Christmas is getting closer! [Panic!]

Today I have some visual treats for you, a chance to live vicariously through me. I do hope you enjoy them.

A big thank you to Tim for sorting this one out, it was a huge amount of work for him to make everything I shoved at him look so good.

To enjoy treat 11, and any you’ve missed, just click on the picture of the number 11 here or scroll to the top of the website and click on the link.

8 thoughts on “Day 11 of the Anne Boleyn Files Advent Calendar”

  1. Michelle Tercha says:

    Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing them. Michelle t

  2. Michael Wright says:

    Thank you so much Claire and Tim for posting the beautiful photos of Hever. I’m with you. To touch or hold an object brings me so much closer to the person or era that the object represents. Whenever I see pics of Hever there is usually a photo of her book of hours. This always puts a lump in my throat. I imagine Anne alone or as Queen with her ladies reading the prayers aloud or to herself, her strong faith a natural part of her being. I think the closest wr can get to Anne are her little notes written in the margins. These were for her alone, not for public consumption and came from her heart. I know the reason that she was able to go to the block so bravely despite her innocence in May of 1536 was her faith. She was human so of course she was scared but she also knew she would soon be with the Father. Although the stories of her haunting various places are fun I really don’t think she is. I’m sure she has better things to do.

  3. Banditqueen says:

    Cheers for the beautiful photos, Claire and for kindly sharing, very good of you to fund the time in your busy day to put this collection together for us. I have been to Hampton Court but never to Hever Castle and I have put Blois on my bucket list. I loved the recreational Anne Boleyn things at the Tower. Was this her coronation? The costumes and tapestries are lovely.

    There is nothing quite like walking in the footsteps of people from history and Anne Boleyn and Henry got everywhere, well almost. If they didn’t, others connected to them, like another wife, Elizabeth or a Duke; they left behind pebbles of their inner self and we can unite with them through their personal items. The number of personal items collected together in 2009, for the 500th Anniversary of Henry Viii ascension at the British Library was fantastic. Most items came from all over the country and even from France, where his tapestries had been for twenty years, into one place, which was special. It is beautiful to see the Book of Hours belonging to Anne and what may have been beds or part of beds from the period. There is a very lovely portrait, not an original, but said to be an excellent likeness. To have such things connects us to the person and their lives and beliefs. A piece of clothing, a piece of jewellery, a piece of clothing and books all connections and we can see things through their eyes.

    I remember being captivated earlier this year by some personal items belonging to King Charles I in Sudeley Hall where he stayed while escaping from Parliamentary forces. There were letters to his wife and son and a pair of his gloves. There was a cross belonging to him and carved ivory from France showing Louis Xiii and Louis Xiv and a personal signet ring and a pearl ring belonging to Henrietta Maria. The ring he wore the day of his execution. These items are so precious, like the ring with a piece of hair from the young pretender in Strickland House in Cumbria. In Whitehall there is the shirt he wore for his execution. All very rare and precious.

    Anne wrote in her Book of Hours which makes them even more rare as here we have her hand and thoughts. The words are a hope and a declaration of her time being here now and her plans, perhaps for a family, for something more, but she couldn’t conceive of the future she would eventually realise. I know the castle has been changed but it looks as if many of the rooms are similar to when she lived there. The gallery floor is meant to have been put in by Thomas Boleyn. The gardens may be later but I bet they are on the site of when Anne and her siblings ran through them and played as children. In Hever isn’t there a bed belonging to Henry Vii and Elizabeth of York which was found in Chester called the Paradise Bed based on the carvings?

    My favourite part of Hampton Court, I think is the beautiful Watching Chamber. That golden ceiling is something to behold. The Chapel is wonderful and the heart of Jane Seymour is behind the alter. The panel hides what used to be a glass window showing Catherine of Aragon and Henry Viii receiving Thomas More and Erasmus. This is now in the Church of Saint Margaret, next to Westminster Abbey. The Great Hall there is a masterpiece. You can still see the coat of arms of Anne and Henry under the Anne Boleyn Gate as it was missed when Henry ordered them replaced. You can also see pomegranates peeping out from around doors and the arms of Wolsey and Jane Seymour. Henry ordered a change with each wife and each wife has left her mark behind, in the fabric of the buildings they walked through. Every piece of fabric in the tapestries tells a story and if you look very closely you can see the King and one of his wives in the story. Even after 500 years the colours are still quite vivid and the pictures show how beautiful and exquisite they were. It’s just like stepping into their world and getting to know them.

    Thanks again for sharing. Very kind of you.

    1. Michael Wright says:

      Hi BQ. Wow, am I glad you posted something. I was using the mobile site earlier and missed everything after Hever. Just went back and saw the remainder. My fault, I went too fast earlier Wonderful pics Claire. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Christine says:

    The photographs are absolutely beautiful Claire thanks so much, I think we are blessed to still have these historical buildings with us, with them we have a link to the past and these famous people, they may have died hundreds of years ago but in the personal artefacts they left behind and in the very places they lived and visited, they live again with us, their stories are old and they have been told time and again and as a Tudor enthusiast and I think I speak for many of my fellow posters on this site, I never tire of hearing of them, the story of Henry V111 and his long suffering wives catches the imagination like a modern soap opera, to wander through these beautiful rooms and gaze at the paintings of these illustrious people and see personal items that they held and caressed is thrilling, the Book of Hours that Anne herself wrote in is a work of art with its beautifully illustrated pages, the traces of gold are still there and it really is an exquisite piece of workmanship, her famous pearl necklace which is in most of her portraits are said to have designed into a another which her daughter Elizabeth 1st wore, her bedroom at Hever is small and her huge bed dominates the room, one can imagine her maid brushing her hair as she sat at her table, we do not know which rooms her siblings occupied or her parents but they would no doubt have eaten in the hall or one of the large rooms, the gallery was used for inclement weather when it was too wet of snowy to venture out, and they would have amused themselves reading and playing music needlework etc, Hever must have been a quiet haven for the Boleyn family and it was were Anne returned time and again to escape the unwanted attention of the King, there is also a clock which Henry is said to have given Anne and it featured in Lofts biography but it is housed maybe in a museum or other private collection? The Hever we know today is not quiet the Hever that Anne knew as over the centuries all ancient buildings experience renovation, the gardens are different yet they must still have been beautiful, maybe more so in their wildness, and Lord Astor added what is known today as the ‘Astor Wing’, but she would have walked up that courtyard and her footsteps would have walked along the long wooden polished gallery, she would have gazed out at the windows into the green fields in the distance and wandered in the surrounding fields, later another unlucky queen was to call Hever her home, Anne of Cleves who received it as a consolation prize, she fell in love with Hever and it is easy to understand why, the golden castle with its little moat is like something out of a storybook, I hope you do manage to visit it Bq because I know you would adore it, Hampton Court in all its majestic splendour is really synonymous with the story of Henry V111 and his unfortunate wives, they are alive in every corner of the building, the high carved ceilings are awesome and the ancient tapestries, old furniture the very brickwork of the place, the huge rooms it is so vast you cannot see it all in one day, the huge kitchens the gardens themselves and not forgetting the maze, there are rooms dedicated to several later monarchs and beautiful furniture from the days of the Stuart monarchs and William and Mary, and the early Georgian monarchs, but to me Hampton Court is forever associated with Cardinal Wolsey its builder and Henry V111 and his wives, Wolsleys fall from favour, and how he gave it to his King in desperation but it was to no avail, Henry took it having long coveted it but Wolsley still fell and Henry lived there with Anne Boleyn, it has seen all six of his wives come and go and witnessed the terror of Catherine Howard, the childbed agony of Jane Seymour and the triumph of her son the Prince Edward, and the sadness of her death, it was in the gardens where Henry V111 sat with his last queen Catherine Parr when an armed guard appeared to escort her to the Tower, it had witnessed balls and masques and laughter and joy as well as much sorrow, the Tower herself that most ancient of buildings having stood on the site for well over a thousand years, making her a lot older than Hever and Hampton Court and many other buildings too which Claire visited, never has a place in the whole of England had such a reputation for misery and death, yet she started of life as a fortress a defender of the city and only in the 16th c became associated with torture and execution, I enjoyed the photo of Anne on the green and the sad memorial to those who had lost their lives, the armoury which reminds us that once there were such a thing as knights who rode on horseback, who jousted valiantly whilst their sweethearts looked on with trepidation and hope, the past is long gone but when we visit these old places we can see them as they were when they were in their prime and share in their glory once more.

  5. Nan says:

    Does anyone know how much of St. James Palace remains as Anne would have known it?

  6. Banditqueen says:

    Hi Nan, much of the sixteenth and seventeenth century style of the original palace but some of the interior has been remodel as a fire destroyed part in the 1800s and the palace is not open to the public. It’s a very fine red brick palace and the gate house and clock are as close you will get to a Tudor palace design from that period. Holbein remoddled the ceilings in 1544 but Anne would recognise much I guess, at least from the outside. I am not certain how much of the original is left inside but the Court is officially based there, even though it is only minor Royals who live there.

    Saint James’s Palace is still used as a place for celebrating and the Chapel Royal still holds two services every Sunday. Many of the baptisms from the Stuart and modern era took place there. A number of births also took place there, including James Edward Stuart, son of James ii and Mary of Madonna, his second wife, in what came to be known as the Bed pan incident, because it was published in a saucy pamphlet that the real baby had died and a substitute was taken into the palace in a bed pan, despite the baby being born in front of dozens of witnesses. The baby grew up to be denied the succession and went abroad, with his famous son returning as Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie.

  7. Nan says:

    Thanks! It’s a shame that one one of the few surviving of Henry VIII’s palaces isn’t open to the public. It has such a history.

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