The Museum was formed in 1966 to preserve the existing property of the regiment, mainly pictures and silver, at the time of the reduction from a Regiment to a Squadron on the formation of the Royal Yeomanry. It was originally set up at Squerryes Court (John Warde was serving with the Regiment at the time). In 1985 it was moved to Hever Castle, into a room at the top of the Keep which had held Lord Astor’s armour collection, where it was opened by HRH Princess Alexandra.
The collection grew, and the trustees recognised the need to keep pace with modern technology and offer improved access. In 2013 They agreed with Mr John Guthrie and his board of directors, that Hever Castle Ltd would fund the construction of a new building, if the Museum Trust could raise the funds for the interior fit-out.
We achieved our fund raising target of £275,000 in six months, commenced fit-out, and on Sunday 6th September 2015, HRH Princess Alexandra returned to Hever to officially open the new museum and this next chapter in our history.
The new museum follows the history of the regiments from 1794, when the Kent Yeomanry was formed by part time volunteers to defend against possible invasion by the French. Our displays then take the visitor through the 19th century, the Boer War (when the Sharpshooters were formed), the two world wars, and modern times. Four interactive touch screens complement the physical displays, bringing to life many fascinating life stories of people who served in the regiment, and also providing a showcase for school projects. Noball the female desert fox is there as a cartoon guide for younger visitors.
Our physical displays include medals, uniforms, weaponry, and other militaria. We have walk-in reconstructions of a WW1 Gallipoli trench, and the interior of a WW2 Cromwell tank turret. A Saladin armoured car and a 25lb Field Gun stand guard outside the museum. A registry area enables visitors to explore the names of over 14000 who have served with us.
The Museum has full Accreditation from the MLA. It is a member of the Association of Independent Museums and the Kent Museums Group.
Access to the museum is included in the standard ticket price for visiting the grounds of Hever Castle, please visit www.hevercastle.co.uk for opening times and prices. Current and former members of the military, on proof of service, may get 20% reductions on entry prices for themselves and their families.
Outside of peak season (defined as bank holiday weekends and school holidays) it is possible to visit the museum for free so long as no visit is made to the rest of the grounds or the castle.