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Penshurst Place became the property of Henry VIII

Henry VIII used Penshurst Place as a hunting lodge and granted it to Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce settlement. Edward VI gifted Penshurst to Sir William Sidney,...

When Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham was executed for treason in May 1521, his estates, including Penshurst Place, became the property of the Crown. Henry VIII used Penshurst as a hunting lodge and is believed to have stayed there whilst courting Anne Boleyn, whose family owned nearby Hever Castle. Anne’s father, Thomas Boleyn, was appointed Keeper of Penshurst Place and her infant brother, Thomas, was buried in the adjacent church, St John the Baptist.

Penshurst was granted to Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII. In 1552, King Edward VI gifted Penshurst, the house and its estate, to his tutor and steward of his household, Sir William Sidney.

Penshurst Place © Penshurst House & Gardens

Built in 1341 for Sir John de Pulteney, Lord Mayor of London, Penshurst Place retains much the original medieval building, with a spectacular great hall that is described by Simon Jenkins as “the mightiest owned by a commoner in England”.  The Sidney family made extensive alterations and additions in the late sixteenth century, most notably creating a series of State rooms, now known as the Queen Elizabeth and Tapestry Rooms, and a stunning long gallery. Penshurst’s gardens are some of the oldest in private ownership and there are records of it dating back to 1346.

Penshurst Place remains in the ownership of the Sidney family today, and is open to the public.

See the full historical timeline of Penshurst Place here.

Use our itinerary for A Tour through Tudor Kent, created by Sarah Morris, the Tudor Travel Guide, to visit Penshurst Place and a variety of other wonderful properties with fascinating Tudor histories, in Issue 7.


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