New exhibition on at Hever Castle – Lights, camera, action: Hever Castle on Stage and Screen

Hever Castle, the family home of the Boleyn family, has just let me know about their new exhibition which starts on 13th May – Lights, camera, action: Hever Castle on Stage and Screen.

I’m very excited as I’m there with the Anne Boleyn Experience Tour while the exhibition is on – great timing!

The temporary exhibition will give visitors to the castle the chance to see posters and costumes from films that the castle has appeared in. I can’t wait to see two dresses from my favourite Anne Boleyn film, “Anne of the Thousand Days”, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Then there’s a sword dredged from the moat after Tom Baker dropped it during filming of “The Passionate Pilgrim” (1984), which also starred Eric Morecambe. The sword was found twenty-seven years later when the moat was drained. It will be displayed for the first time at Hever as part of this exhibition.

The story of the mysterious ‘La Peregrina Pearl’ will be available for visitors to explore as part of the exhibition. As you probably know, this $11 million dollar pearl was bought by actor Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor during their first marriage and it was seen on screen for the first time at Hever Castle when Taylor played a cameo role in the 1969 film “Anne of the Thousand Days”. Taylor had wanted to play Anne Boleyn to Burton’s Henry VIII, but was rejected and the role went to Genevieve Bujold. During its visit to Hever, the pearl was briefly reunited with two Hever portraits which depict it being worn on the queens who once owned it: Mary I and Elizabeth de Valois.

Photographs from an opera about Thomas Boleyn, father of Queen Anne Boleyn, performed in 1972 by the Astors, the previous owners of Hever Castle, will also be on display, along with images from some of the TV programmes that the castle has appeared in.

Lights, camera, action: Hever Castle on Stage and Screen opens on 13th May 2019 and will run until November 2019. Visitors can find it in the Castle’s Moat Room, which isn’t usually open to the public, and it is included as part of the Castle and Garden admission.

Admission Prices:
Castle & Gardens: Adults £17.75; Seniors/Students £15.60; Children (5-17) £9.95 (under 5’s free); Family ticket £46.85 (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children).

Gardens open at 10.30am; Castle opens at 12 noon.
Last admission 4.30pm; final exit 6pm.
For further information please visit the website: or call Hever Castle on 01732 865224.

Picture: Helena Bonham Carter in Hever Castle Dining Room – “Lady Jane”, photo from Hever Castle and Gardens.

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13 thoughts on “New exhibition on at Hever Castle – Lights, camera, action: Hever Castle on Stage and Screen”
  1. Oh Claire I am SO EXCITED to hear this. I know one other on this trip will be chuffted as well. I Love Genevieve as you know and to Actually see the costumes. WOW

  2. Boy how I would love to come! Two points you mentioned I did not not know: Elizabeth Taylor had a cameo in ‘Anne…’ and that she wanted to play the lead. Though I liked Elizabeth Taylor and she was a great actress, physically she was all wrong. Genevieve Bujold’s was perfect in all respects (my opinion).

  3. I will miss it as I am going on the 2nd of May. Might have to visit later in the year. I have the DVD of Anne of the 1000 days. Brilliant.

  4. I never knew Elizabeth Taylor wanted to play Anne in the movie I never rated her much as an actress, though I liked her in ‘Lassie’, I thought she was more striking as a child because peculiarly she had a woman’s face, the amount of money Richard Burton spent on jewellery for her I thought was obscene, but there’s the film industry for you, the exhibition sounds fun anyway so enjoy yourself Claire.

  5. And actually I loved the film Lady Jane with Bonham Carter, I thought she played her well, but her depiction of Anne Boleyn opposite Ray Winstone was quite frankly a disgrace.

    1. ‘Lady Jane’ was my intro to Helena Bonham Carter. Your not liking Elizabeth Taylor kinda evens things out. I think I remember from an earlier post that BQ doesn’t like Richard Burton.

      As far as buying expensive jewelry, etc it’s not just Hollywood. There are many wealthy people spending obscene amounts of money but it doesn’t have a bearing on us. It’s not like if they don’t spend it we’ll get it. Besides, someone has to make that expensive stuff for them to buy!

    2. That series was so poorly cast except for Emily Blunt and Sean Bean. Helena Bonham Carter is usually so good in everything she does and I too enjoyed Lady. Jane.

      1. I do like Sean Bean I loved him when he played the rake in the drama series ‘Clarissa’ , but yes it was a dreadful series, Ray Winstone played Henry V111 with a cockney accent it was a joke, and there was no fire in Helena Bonham Carta as Anne Boleyn, I think the critics slated her in that one.

  6. Fantastic and wow all those costumes. I actually thought Richard Burton was brilliant as Henry, although Keith Michelle was Henry Viii. Anne of A Thousand Days for the costumes alone is worth it. A pity I won’t see this, but maybe some of it will go on tour.

    Is that a silhouette of Jane Grey? Was Queen Jane filmed at Hever? I must admit, even if the Castle had nothing to do with Henry and Anne, it would still make a wonderful film set because it looks like a magical place. The gardens look amazing. Are the gardens all as they were in Tudor times or have they been given the eighteenth century treatment? They look spectacular on photos and I can imagine the Boleyn siblings running around, playing hide and seek in them. It’s great when a filmmaker can get permission to use the homes of the people in the film, like Hever, because it’s so authentic. You don’t want to mess around too much with Green Screen or building sets, the natural surroundings are always the most magical.

    I just noticed it runs until November, so maybe I will visit later in the year.

  7. Belvoir Castle is like fairyland too, theres statues in the gardens which slope down from the castle, very scenic and beautiful.

  8. Ray Winston, Henry Viii is one of the boys, yes, not the best from either of them, but isn’t that the fault of the casting director?

    Helen B Carter could have been better, but then I actually think she’s a dreadful actress anyway and hated Lady Jane. It was mythical trash. I didn’t mind Patrick Stewart but then he is actually trained to act. I have watched Ray Winston in so many bad boy roles which he did very well, but his Henry Viii was a bit too army commander gone wrong. The scene which shocked me the most was the rape scene, that was terrible. Henry and Anne were passionately in love and only had to wait a few more weeks or a couple of months. After seven years, do people not think they could control themselves or be romantic? It was utter nonsense and no he didn’t beat up Jane Seymour when she was pregnant. Honestly, anything for an audience.

    There is a worrying trend showing women getting raped in historical drama, even when it’s nonsense. Jane Boleyn is raped on her wedding night, no evidence, Anne is raped by Henry at least twice on TV, never happened, Elizabeth of York raped by his father, never happened. Yet Jane and Guildford had a mushy love affair, which was just as fictional as Jane being beaten until she married him. They had a cordial marriage, not a love match. Nor was she a socialist revolutionary, she was a reformer and a passionate one, not Karl Marx. She loved fine clothes the same as everyone else. Jane Lapotaire as Mary I was good, a rare sympathetic depiction of Mary and the dilemma she faced over Jane as a pawn or threat to her crown. I don’t actually remember Sean Bean in it. That’s probably how bad it was. For locations though it did very well.

    For a proper, factual series on Lady Jane or Queen Jane, depending on your point of view, you can’t do better than the three part documentary which was on BBC Four. There is also the Helen Castor series She Wolves on the English Queens before Elizabeth I which did a small section on Jane and Mary and also Leanne de Lisle The Sisters Who Would be Queen and Nicola Tallis Crown of Blood which is a new biography on Jane Grey and her inheritance.

    It’s a very good series with many experts so worth looking up or waiting for it to be repeated. I loved Sean Bean in the Fellowship of the Ring and as Ned Stark, but I think he gets type cast. I normally love drama, but too often it’s done badly and you simply don’t recognise the historic person these days. A great shame and unfortunately a slur on the real talented actors and the reputation of already maligned historical people.

  9. I did like Helens Bonham Carter in Lady Jane but as with so many other movies there is a lot of diversion from the truth, could be I like it as there’s no other films or drama series about this tragic young queen, we cannot know if Anne Boleyn did love Henry V111 either she seemed to find it fairly easy keeping him at arms length for a long enough time, a feat rather impossible for any woman really in love, she may have come to feel for him a very real affection which over time could have made her believe she loved him, but I doubt she was ever actually ‘in love’ with him, I think her feelings towards Henry V111 were what we call today luke warm compared to his passion for her, possibly his complete abandonment of her after just three years of marriage was partly due to his realising that also.

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