DAVID STARKEY REVITALISES HEVER’S LONG GALLERY
Items not previously on display at Hever Castle now form part of a major collection change guest curated by historian David Starkey. The new permanent exhibition in the Long Gallery depicts the Wars of the Roses to the Reformation and through 18 original portraits hung in dynastic order the story of the Tudors is told, starting from Henry VI and ending with Henry VIII.
The Long Gallery, which was created in 1506 by Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father, has been restored by experts using innovative lighting, redecoration and the paintings bordered by fabric (depicting if they were from the York, Lancaster or Tudor families) so it resembles what a typical long gallery would have looked like in the 16th century.
Dr Starkey explains: “We have followed the Tudors in fitting curtains for each picture. This is the real radical innovation and the thing that will set the display apart.
“These curtains were originally not only decorative, but also designed to protect the paintings from harsh sunlight.”
The Kent-based historian’s attention to detail has seen the ornate plasterwork ceiling painted a softer off-white to give the effect of lime wash and full-length drapes reinstalled at the large stained-glass windows at each end of the 98ft room. Visitors will also see for the first time a portrait of Elizabeth Woodville, Henry VIII’s grandmother and an influential figure in ending the Wars of the Roses and thus the start of the Tudor dynasty.
Guest curator Dr David Starkey with Hever’s CEO Duncan Leslie