Thursday, 8 May 2008

Hatfield House - Part 1

A number of people have asked me why photography is not allowed in the houses I visit.
It is a combination of security and the fact that continued flash photography damages the items
We visited Hatfield House last Saturday. It is only 13 minutes drive from my daughter's and 50 minutes drive from my house yet this was our first visit
I shall do several posts on this, doing the gardens and grounds seperately from the house
otherwise the post will be too long
I am also including the old palace in this post which is a seperate building to the house
The indoor pictures are scanned from my book so are a little grainy but it is worth
double-clicking to see the details
The House is now the home to the 7th Marquess of Salisbury
Built by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury and
Chief Minister to King James I from 1607 - 1611
There is a marvelous collection of pictures, furnishings, tapestries
and historic armour on display
The Estate (which is still lived in) has been in the Cecil family for 400 years,
one of England's foremost political families
The Palace (which was originally much larger) is seen here
after the house photos
The Royal Palace of Hertford built (1485)
It was in the West Garden here that Elizabeth I spent most of her childhood
and where she first heard of her accession to the throne

Different views of the house

The Marble Hall

The Winter Dining Room

Detail of a tiny corner of a tapestry

The Long Gallery

The Chinese Bedroom
This was part of a suite which was set aside especially for the King

King James Drawing Room

The Grand Staircase

A corner of the Library

The Chapel
All old Houses belonging to the Aristocracy have their own chapels within the house
Each stained glass window here depicts a story from the Bible
See the reflections in the font


We now see The Old Palace from various angles
It is one of the foremost examples of mediaeval brickwork in the country
and still retains most of it's original roof timbers

The following are of some wonderful mural paintings in the restaurant
It really felt like one was sitting looking outside

Do come back and see lots of details of the grounds and the magnificent wilderness garden


Linda said...

All you can say is, "Wow!" Aren't you glad it is still around to see today?

Barbara Jacksier said...

Hi Barbara

It's Barbara and Rita (from London) who is still visiting us in the States. We enjoyed your recent tours. Rita says since you live so close, perhaps the two of you can meet up sometime. Hope all is well.

Vee said...

Oh, I'll be back!

This is an odd thought, but sometimes I don't realize that just because people lived in a much earlier time, doesn't mean that they were living in huts. LOL!

Such beautiful furnishings, walls, floors, fireplaces, decorative items, glass stained windows...very impressive!

a woman who is said...

You are so blessed to be getting to tour all this old loveliness.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Dorothy said...

Oh my...this is fantastic..the only thing we might have comparable in the states to this, that I have visited is the Biltmore House...a family named Cecil own it now...I wonder if they might be related...original owners were the Vanderbilts..I zoomed in on some of the photos...just beautiful... I especially enjoy the chapel...Thank you Barbara for a lovely tour..God bless...Dee Dee

TO BECOME said...

I don't even have the words to express the elegance that I saw in you photos. It was just beautiful.Thank you so much, Barbara.

We went to our Granddaughter's graduation this past weekend and our son and daughter in law took us to an old mansion that was on a hill to to have our dinner. It too, was beautiful. I just fell in love with the grounds. So many wonderful flowers and herbs. I hope we can go again. Next time, I want to learn the history about the home. You are so blessed to be able to see such wonderful things. Have a great day, connie from Texas

Annie Jeffries said...

Dear Barbara, This place is just staggering in its impact. It is almost impossible to wrap my mind around the fact that this is actually a private home. I look forward to seeing more.


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

What an amazing place....and so many bricks! I'll certainly be back to see more.

Aqeela said...

What a fantastic place to visit Barbara, love the restaurant mural. And G.B.S house in your last post is great too. i love the style of almost everything in the photos, my favorite periods actually.

Tess Kincaid said...

I loved this! I've always been very interested in the British Monarchy, so this was right up my alley. I have a book that shows a few photos of Hatfield House, but not nearly this many.

Unknown said...

One of my houses in the UK and I used to live just 35 mins from it. I want to take the Hubster there next time we come back to visit.

Willow said...

I recently read the story of the Gunpowder Plot and so the Cecil family name is familiar to me. I had forgotten that Elizabeth I lived there in her childhood. What an amazing place. Thanks for taking us on the trip with you.

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Stunning pictures of Hatfield, both scanned and your own Barbara. Its such a magnificent house with gardens and furnishing to match. One of the many gems of our English heritage.

As you can imagine, its a busy time with only 9 days to go before we fly off to US to be with Betty and Edward. We are so excited, it hardly seems real..... so much to do both at home with our garden and the holiday home and garden we have to look after. I hope to be back to more regular blogging on our return, goodness, that brings us up to June, half way through the year!!!!

Take joy from this delicious season. Marion

Anonymous said...

As always, you make me quite nostalgic.
You should write a personal tour guide of interesting and wonderful places.
England is so amazingly rich in history - one sort of just accepted it as fact as a child - not as something rather wonderful!

Mike said...

Lovely tour. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

Paula said...

That is HUGE! and beautiful. Must be neat to walk through it and think of all of the history that took place there.

Charm and Grace said...

Oh Barbara, you managed to take us on a fabulous tour whilst giving us a bit of a history lesson. I'll take a lesson like that any day of the week. I loved the tour of Shaw's place, too, but have been to busy to post in a while... even to my own blog. I loved the little writing house that was on a turntable... fascinating! I will be checking back in a few days after my busy mom-life settles down a bit!

Blessings and hugs,

Jeanne said...

Blessings and much love
Happy Mother's Day~
Love Jeanne ^j^

Anonymous said...

Stunning! Thank you for the lovely tour!
I am in study mode...learning from your blog posts!
Joanne in Ontario

Candytuft Corner said...

Hi Barbara,

I've visited Hertfordshire many times, but I have never been to Hatfield House. It is a magnificent building ~ thanks for the tour.

Marie x

zetor said...

Veriy interesting, Barbara. I've read lots of historical books about Elizabeth 1 which mentioned Hatfield House.

Betty said...

In addition to all the other hats you should be a tour guide....

We pick Marion and John up at the Atlanta airport on May 18th....we are so excited .......

Happy Mother's Day to you...even if this isn't the appointed Sunday in England......Betty

Needled Mom said...

Again, thank you so much for taking us on the tour. What a lovely place to visit. The workmanship is just spectacular.

Lavinia said...

This is incredible. Just incredible. I've read childhood accounts of growing up in places like this...riding bicycles around the house, exploring....very hard to comprehend that it is a private home....people actually live here....each room seems to be a museum in itself...

Lavinia said...

Happy Mother's Day, Barbara, although I am not sure that Mother's Day is celebrated on this day over in England. Come to think of it, you have "Mothering Sunday" over there; is it today?

Anyway, I hope you have a great day regardless!

Best wishes,

Knitting Mania said...

Another amazing tour this stuff.

The last old castle I toured in California was "Hearst Castle". Of course not as old as the "Hatfield House", but very exocentric and Hearst himself was quite the character.

la bellina mammina said...

WOW! Love all the pics, especially of the Marble Hall. These remind me of the Royal Palace I visited in Munich in 1997.
Thanks for sharing Barbara!

Sue Seibert said...

Oh, Barbara, I loved the tour. I think my favorite picture was in the chapel with the reflection in the font. It's all just beautiful! Thanks so much for always taking us along on your visits around your beautiful country!