Lights, camera action: Hever Castle on Stage and Screen now open

Hever Castle on screen and stage exhibition
Hever Castle on screen and stage exhibition

Hever Castle has launched a new exhibition – Hever Castle on Stage and Screen – which will run until November 2019 in the Castle’s Moat Room, which is not usually open to the public.

Visitors will have the chance to see posters and costumes from the films that the attraction has appeared in. Among the items on displays are two dresses from 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. Clips from the films are also shown as part of the exhibition.

Visitors can explore the story of the mysterious La Peregrina Pearl through a replica on display. The original was bought by actor Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor during their first marriage. The $11 million pearl was seen on screen for the first time at Hever Castle when Taylor played a cameo role in Anne of the Thousand Days, having been rejected for the coveted title role 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 his grip on the sword and it fell into the moat. 27 years later when the castle’s moat was drained, Baker’s sword was discovered in the silt. The Hever Castle on Stage and Screen exhibition sees the sword on public display for the first time.

Photographs from an opera about Thomas Boleyn and performed for the previous owners, the Astors, are also on display. The opera was written and composed by Timothy Higgs when he worked for the Astors, and his son Jonathan Higgs is now a supervisor at the Castle.

Visitors will also be able to view images from television shows featuring Hever Castle and Gardens, which have included the Antiques Roadshow, Escape to the Country, Gardener’s World, and Masterchef.

Entry to the exhibition is included as part of general admission to Hever Castle and Gardens. For more information please visit