Hever Castle in Kent is the Grade 1 listed childhood home of Anne Boleyn. When FRLA was approached to redesign the play area, it was important that we created something that was exciting, unique and responded to the history of the site. We wanted to provide the visitors with the experience of exploring a castle, peering over parapets, squeezing through priestholes, getting lost in a dungeon; all things that weren’t possible in the actual castle due to its listed status.
Therefore we designed an oak-framed Tudor style castle that would be constructed using a combination of traditional woodworking and blacksmithing techniques combined with modern, CNC cut fabrics and welded stainless-steel components. Surrounding the play castle, a lushly planted landscape provides more opportunities for play. As part of the design process, we developed a narrative describing how this new castle came into being. This involves three different occupants based on animals found on the coats-of-arms of the previous owners of Hever Castle. When the playground opens, we will post more images.