Kent Life - - Business Life -

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

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