On Saturday 22nd, Bucksmore students and staff packed their bags and lunches and set out for day at Hever Castle, childhood home of former Queen Anne Boleyn. After a short coach ride we arrived at our destination. We split into groups upon arrival and our fabulous teachers led our wide-eyed students through the beautiful Japanese tea gardens, a 100-year-old yew maze, the water maze (don’t step on the wrong stone or you’ll get wet!) and Italian gardens.
There were many other things to see with musicians playing authentic music from the 1400s throughout the gardens while knights practiced sword fighting, archery and combat formations. Inside Hever Castle our students were able to get a good look at how life was like for Anne Boleyn growing up, before she married Henry VIII to become Queen of England. Bedrooms and dining rooms were arranged to show us what it may have been like to grow up during this period of time with lifelike figures depicting Queen Boleyn as a child throughout the castle. The walls of the castle were covered in beautiful and historically significant artefacts such as rich tapestries from the 15th century as well as medieval furniture and paintings.
Once all the students had looked around the castle we had time to eat our lunch in the sun and wander the stunning gardens once more and try to find our way out of one more maze before the big event…
At 2pm our teachers and students gathered in anticipation as knights and horses covered in decorative armour stood on either side of the castle gates.
Not long after King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn emerged from the castle and announced the start of the jousting tournament! After the announcement we followed the King and Queen to the jousting arena and the games began! The students cheered for their hero and booed the villain as the knights battled each other under the watchful eyes of royalty.
Before long it was time to go home, tired but with smiling faces after a long day experiencing life in Tudor England.