Visitors to Hever Castle in Kent over the summer and autumn can see posters, images and costumes from films and TV shows the attraction has appeared in as part of a new small temporary exhibition. 'The Hever Castle on Stage and Screen Exhibition' opened this month, and runs until November in the Castle’s Moat Room (which is not usually open to the public). It's included as part of the Castle and Garden admission.
Two dresses from the film Anne of the Thousand Days, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and a sword dredged from the moat after filming for The Passionate Pilgrim starring Eric Morecambe and Tom Baker, are among the items on display. Clips from the films are also shown as part of the exhibition.
The story of the mysterious La Peregrina Pearl is available for visitors to explore as part of the new exhibition with a replica on display. Bought by actor Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor during their first marriage, the $11millon dollar pearl was seen on screen for the first time at Hever Castle when Taylor played a cameo role in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), having been rejected for the coveted part of Anne Boleyn. 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.
During the filming of a sword fight on Hever Castle’s drawbridge for the 1984 short film The Passionate Pilgrim, Tom Baker lost grip of his sword and it tumbled into the moat. Twenty-seven years later, when the castle’s moat was drained Baker’s sword was discovered poking out of the silt, it is displayed for the first time at Hever during the Hever Castle on Stage and Screen exhibition.
Photographs from an opera about Thomas Boleyn performed for the previous owners, the Astors in 1972 are also on display. The opera was written and composed by Timothy Higgs when he worked for the Astors. His son, Jonathan Higgs now works as a Castle supervisor. Images from some of the TV programmes Hever Castle has appeared in are also available to see.
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 see hevercastle.co.uk or call 01732 865224.