Do not get confused with popular and important Open Day’s schools put on during the year … this is an Open House, full of history, showing the public round a historic manor house that was mentioned in the Domesday Book, compiled by the Norman invaders of 1066 ... in West Wickham (BR4 9HW).
In the middle of the 15th century the Heyden family acquired Wickham Court in West Wickham. The Heydens were ambitious and John Heyden made a good match for his son Henry with Anne, a daughter of Sir Geoffrey Bullen, who was mayor of London in 1457. This Anne was the great-aunt of the famous Anne Bullen or Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. The Bullen family were well established in Kent. Their house, Hever Castle, is only forty minutes drive from West Wickham. John Heyden advised his son to rebuild the old manor house. This he did, together with the adjoining church. Both buildings have been altered and extended over the years but are still in use today. Henry Heyden's great grandson, Sir William Heyden, sold the manor house and the entire estate to the Lennard family in 1580.
In 1525 Henry VIII was King of England and Catherine of Aragon was his Queen. Wickham Court is a place that Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn met up in.
On Saturday 23 June 2012 from 10.30 – 4pm there is a chance for people to have a tour of Wickham Court as a 15th Century Manor House, with written archives over 100 years old on show and to view the ‘entwined lovers knot’ of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in a stained glass window. Cream teas and entertainment from the Tudor period can be enjoyed in this stunning setting.
Tickets are available on the day or in advance from Wickham Court School priced £3 (children under 5 yrs free).