Sussex home that Henry VIII gave to his fourth wife Anne of Cleves after marriage annulment on sale for over £2m

14 June 2023, 21:06

The house was granted to King Henry VIII's fourth wife Anne of Cleves
The house was granted to King Henry VIII's fourth wife Anne of Cleves. Picture: Jackson-stops

By Emma Soteriou

A Sussex house that Henry VIII gave his fourth wife after their marriage was annulled in 1540 has been put on the market for £2.25million.

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Grade-I listed Wings Place, which is better known as Anne of Cleves House, is open for public tours in Ditchling, East Sussex, but privately owned.

The five-bed property was given to Anne after her marriage to Henry came to an end, with it being annulled on the grounds that the marriage had not been consummated.

It has three floors with three bathrooms, two oak staircases, several 16th Century fireplaces and a priest hole.

Original Tudor features remain in the build, including open timber beams, brick chimneys and leaded windows.

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Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves. Picture: Alamy

In the western wing of the house is a drawing room as well as a library which leads on to a terrace.

Steps in the kitchen also lead down to a cellar which consists of a store room and wine cellar.

The upstairs rooms of Wings Place were used for secret Catholic services and the priest hole at the top of the stairs was believed to have been used as a hiding place, according to Jackson-Stops.

The estate agent has put the property on the market at the guide price of £2.25million.

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Henry VIII gave the house to Anne of Cleves
Henry VIII gave the house to Anne of Cleves. Picture: Alamy

Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1541, the property was gifted to Henry VIII, who later gave it to Thomas Cromwell who served as chief minister to the king. It was then granted to Anne but she never visited it. 

Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves after commissioning a portrait of her from Hans Holbein but after meeting her in real life he found her unattractive.

Anne agreed to divorce the king, with the settlement also including her getting both Richmond Palace and Hever Castle.

She went on to live a comfortable life known as "the King's Beloved Sister" and remained friends with him and his children.