David Starkey curates new Hever Castle exhibition

Items not previously on display at Hever Castle form part of a major exhibition which has been guest-curated by historian David Starkey.

The permanent exhibition in the Long Gallery, which opened today (October 4), tells the history of England from the Wars of the Roses to the Reformation through the castle’s art collection.

There are 18 original portraits hung in dynastic order, from Henry VI and ending with Henry VIII.

The Long Gallery was created in 1506 by Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father, and has been restored by a team of experts to resemble what a typical long gallery would have looked like during the 16th century.

Dr Starkey’s attention to detail has seen the ornate plasterwork adorning the Long Gallery’s ceiling painted a softer off-white to give the effect of lime wash and full-length drapes have been reinstalled at the large stained-glass windows.

Visitors will also have a chance to see items not previously on display such as a portrait of Elizabeth Woodville, the grandmother of Henry VIII, who was an influential figure in ending the Wars of the Roses and the start of the Tudor dynasty.

Dr Starkey has voiced a new multimedia device which will deliver a guide to understanding the impact that the Tudor family made on English history.

Duncan Leslie, Hever Castle chief executive, said: “The new approach offers a chance to concentrate on the Tudor history of the castle and the story of the sequence of tumultuous events that changed the course of Britain’s history, monarchy and religion.

“Dr Starkey has previously stated that Hever Castle has one of the best collection of Tudor portraits after the National Portrait Gallery.”

TravelGBI readers can enter a competition to win tickets to see the new exhibition. Click here for details.

Picture shows Dr Starkey (left) with Duncan Leslie. Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens