The Hever Castle Estate reveals a rich and fascinating past. The oldest parts of the Castle date from the 13th century and later in the 1500s it was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. It was here that one Henry VIII first courted the young Anne and started the Royal connection with it’s ownership, which included Henry’s fourth wife Anne of Cleves. An important transition for the Castle occurred in 1903 when it was purchased by William Waldorf Astor one of the richest men in America at the time, who invested his time, money and imagination in restoring the Castle and building the incredible Italian gardens and the ‘Tudor Village’ which is now known as the Astor Wing.
It was in the 1920s that Golf first featured on the Estate when a private 9 hole course was built for Astor’s personal enjoyment in the grounds where today’s Championship Course lies north of the Hever lakes. The Golf Course proved a valuable tool for the Astors to entertain friends, family and for business. The importance of Golf and the high regard for it on the Estate is clearly demonstrated in the Itinerary & map for guests of one of the Astor’s famous parties, where you can see Golf tops the bill, along with Dancing on the Green!
The original course survived until the Second World War when it was sadly abandoned during the War effort. The present day Championship Course, comprises of the Kings and Queens 9s was created in 1992 by Dr Nicholson PhD. ARCS BSc, whose employment of the land’s natural beauty and contours gives each hole its distinctive character. The Princes 9 Hole Course opened in 1998 and was designed by Hever Castle’s Course Manager David Wood, the Princes has been built to the highest specification and is a great test of golf for experienced golfers and beginners alike.