Hatfield House and the Old Palace

Hatfield House knot garden

The history of Hatfield House starts in 1485, when the Bishop of Ely (Cambridgeshire) constructed Hatfield Palace, today called the Old Palace.

At the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-41), Hatfield Palace was acquired by King Henry VIII, passed down in sequence to his children; Edward, Mary and Elisabeth and then inherited by King James I in 1603.   James I didn’t care much for the Palace and traded it with Robert Cecil (son of William Cecil, spy master to Queen Elisabeth I).  Robert Cecil dismantled some of the Palace and constructed Hatfield House in 1608.   Today, both the Old Palace and Hatfield House are co-located on the same site, near the town of Hatfield.

Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury, was ascestor to the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (also Robert Cecil), three-times Prime Minster of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of Oxford University in the late nineteenth century.  Both Robert’s are buried in St Ethelreda’s Church, some 100 metres from the entrance to the Old Palace.  And today, Hatfield House remains home to Lord and Lady Salisbury.

With its combination of royal and political heritage, Hatfield House is one of Britain’s treasured historic homes.

 

 

Hatfield House
The entrance to Hatfield House, completed in 1611 by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury.
MOY_9724
The Jacobean Marble Hall of Hatfield House, looking much as it would have done when completed in 1611.
MOY_9719
The celebrated Rainbow portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, painted in about 1600. The motto ‘Non sine sole iris’ (no rainbow without the sun) refers to Elizabeth as a bringer of peace.
MOY_9728
The Grand Staircase in Hatfield House
MOY_9739
The Long Gallery was an essential feature of every Jacobean house.
MOY_9743
The Armoury. Most of the armour was purchased from the Tower of London in the 19th century.
The front of Hatfield House, that featured prominently in the film; 'The Favourite'
The front of Hatfield House, that featured prominently in the film; ‘The Favourite’
The Old Palace Garden, featuring three knots and a foot maze.
The Old Palace Garden, featuring three knots and a foot maze.
MOY_9564
Mulberry Tree, said to have shaded the young Princess Elisabeth I
The Banqueting Hall of the Old Palace. This is where the young Queen Elisabeth held her first Council of State in 1558.
The Banqueting Hall of the Old Palace.
MOY_9757
The Banqueting Hall of the Old Palace. It was here that Queen Elizabeth held her first Council of State in 1558.
MOY_9774
The entance to the Old Palace, completed in 1497 by Cardinal Morton, Bishop of Ely.

See link for more information:

https://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/

Leave a Reply