King Henry VIII’s Hunting Lodge

Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547)

King Henry VIII is one of Britains best known monarchs, largely due to his marital life, whereby, he divorced two of his six wives, had two of them beheaded, and one died. Put it this way, I wouldn’t leave a guilotine arround if he were a contestant on Love Island.

His first wife was Catherine of Aragon, whom Henry was married too in 1509 for 25 years. After several miscarriages, still births, and a son that lasted the best part of 52 days, his eyes began to wonder.

Thus in 1526, his infatuation with Anne-Boleyn started, which prompted him to seek annulment for his marriage from the Church.

This marriage annullment was turning point in history as it was a case of state vs religion because although the pope denied it, Henry assumed supremacy over the Church and by 1533 he eventually his marriage to Catherine annuled.

Hunting Down Anne Boleyn

Was Anne Boleyn worth all that hassle? Well, she certainly made the cut, or at least her head did. 3 years of marriage, she bore Henry no Children, so he again looked elsewhere. Henry began courting Jane and ordered Anne to be investigated for high treason. After being tried on charges of adultery, incest and plotting to kill the king, Anne was found guilty (most likely wrongly) and beheaded four days later.

Of course, Henry’s notorious marriage life continues, but where does Addington Palace fit into all this?

Well rumour has it, that prior to the Palace being built,  King Henry VIII supposedly courted Anne Boleyn at his hunting lodge on the Grounds of Addington Palace. We say rumour, because what we do know is in 1509-47 it was owned by Henry VIII and used as a hunting park. The rumour part, is where Anne Boleyn comes into it.

It certainly isn’t the most unbelievable of facts, as in her early years she was taught Hunting, and was reported to be particularly fond of it. In fact, William Power Frith, a painter in the 19th Century, depicted the Henry and Anne deer hunting together in Windsor Forest. So the notion of the two of them carrying out this folley together whilst courting may have some weight to it, but it remains a rumour nonetheless.

An early-20th-century painting of Anne Boleyn, depicting her deer hunting with the King – by William Powell Frith