We couldn’t have picked better weather for our full day at Hever Castle! Blue skies and sunshine were perfect for appreciating the beauty of the castles and its stunning gardens.
We started our day with a lovely breakfast in the private Astor Wing before heading over to St Peter’s Church, just outside the castle grounds, to see the tomb and brass memorial of Thomas Boleyn and the little brass cross of Henry Boleyn. Then it was time to enjoy everything the castle has to offer – the castle interior with its large portrait collection, exhibition celebrating Hever Castle’s use in films and on TV (including two beautiful dresses worn by Genevieve Bujold in “Anne of the Thousand Days”), the gardens the gift shop and Hever ducks and swans.
As promised, I’m sharing with you a day-by-day account of the Anne Boleyn Experience 2019 tour that I am co-leading with Philippa of British History Tours,
After flying in to the UK yesterday and staying with my father-in-law in Sussex overnight, I caught the train up to London Victoria this morning. After brunch with Philippa, we set off to meet this year’s tour participants at Victoria. It was wonderful to meet some Tudor Society members and to finally put faces to names – such lovely people.
Only two more sleeps until the Anne Boleyn Experience 2019 tour! Yes, it starts on Sunday! Yay!
I leave tomorrow and I’m so very excited. Hever Castle is my very favourite historical place and although I’ve stayed there many times now, it always works its magic on me and has a huge impact. I can’t wait to share that magical experience with tour participants, and see my dear friend, Tudor Society roving reporter, Philippa Lacey Brewell!
As the tour is in association with the Tudor Society, I will be sharing diary-type blog posts and photos with you, so I hope you enjoy that.
But why not join me at Hever Castle next year?
Philippa has just opened up bookings for the Anne Boleyn Experience Tour 2020!
Today’s Claire Chats was inspired by the recent video I did about the Evil May Day Riot which took place on 1st May 1517, in London, in the reign of King Henry VIII. The riot was an attack on the property of foreign traders in London by a mob of young apprentices and labourers, and it made me want to dig deeper into the topic of immigration during this period.
On this day in Tudor history, Queen Elizabeth I gave her approval to the Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy. The Act of Uniformity was incredibly important and it reflected the queen’s wish to follow a middle road where religion was concerned.
But what was this act? What did it establish? What did Elizabeth want for England and what happened?
On this day in Tudor history, 7th May 1535, after a year of imprisonment in awful conditions at the Tower of London, John Fisher, former Bishop of Rochester, was visited at the Tower of London and tricked into saying something that would lead to his brutal end.
I explain what led to Fisher’s imprisonment, what happened on this day in 1535 and what happened next.
On this day in Tudor history, 5th May 1542, just under three months after the execution of her stepgranddaughter, Queen Catherine Howard, Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, was pardoned and released from the Tower of London.
Find out how the dowager duchess ended up in the Tower in today’s video.
As yesterday’s informal live chat was on the Fall of Anne Boleyn and we’re coming to the anniversary of Queen Anne Boleyn’s execution, I thought I’d do a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge of her fall in May 1536 and the people and places involved.
In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I mark the anniversary of the execution of Edmund de la Pole by sharing some information about him and his brother, Richard, and what led to Edmund’s demise on the scaffold at Tower Hill.
What led to Edmund finally being beheaded after nine years of imprisonment and what happened to Richard de la Pole?
In this week’s Claire Chats, I look at how the legal system worked in the medieval period before looking at the legal machinery that was used in the cases of Queen Anne Boleyn and the five men implicated in her fall in May 1536.
I highly recommend Ian Mortimer’s book “The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England” and also Toni Mount’s excellent online history course “England’s Crime and Punishment through the Ages” which goes from justice in the 7th century all the way to prison reformers of the 19th century.
Happy May Day! Today, 1st May, is May Day, a special day in Tudor England. Today, in the UK, the May Day holiday is the first Monday in May so today is a normal working day, what a shame. Here in Spain, it is a bank holiday, but is the “Day of the Worker” and just time to relax, rather than to do anything special.
In the Tudor period, 1st May was was seen as the first day of summer. May Day had its roots in ancient celebrations of fertility and was celebrated with special processions, plays and pantomimes, pageants, Morris dancing and the crowning of a May Queen. There would also be a Maypole, a tall wooden pole decorated with greenery and flowers and hung with ribbons. People would hold the ribbons and dance around the Maypole weaving the ribbons together in patterns.
May’s Tudor Life magazine is focused on the Boleyn Family, including the infamous Anne Boleyn, but also her brother George Boleyn, father Thomas Boleyn, sister Mary Boleyn and even wider. As always it’s packed from start to finish with interesting facts, articles and stunning photos. We’ve even got an exclusive “behind the scenes” photo montage from Hever Castle. Not to be missed …
Just in case you haven’t noticed the dates on the schedule, I wanted to alert you to the times and dates of May’s live chats.
Our informal live chat is on 4th May at 11pm UK time. The topic is the fall of Anne Boleyn. An informal chat is just that, an informal debate where all points of view are welcome. We can pose questions to each other, discuss our points of view, recommend books etc. anything related to Anne Boleyn’s fall in 1536.
What a wonderful live chat we had last night with Nathen Amin. All sorts of questions were asked and expertly answered and I think we all learned a lot. For those members who missed the chat, here is the transcript.