Hever was begun in 1270 by William de Hever, though the gatehouse is all that remains of that early fortress. In 1462 the castle passed to the Bullen (Boleyn) family.
Several decades after the Boleyn family took over Hever, its most famous inhabitant, Anne Boleyn, was born. Anne would spend much of her childhood at Hever, and Henry VIII is known to have visited during his courtship.
After Anne’s death the castle was given to Anne of Cleves, Henry’s fourth wife, and in the centuries that followed it passed through the hands of several owners until in 1903 it was purchased by William Waldorf Astor. Astor lavished his considerable fortune upon the estate, renovating the castle, building the “Tudor village”, and creating the wonderful gardens. Hever is now in the hands of a private company