Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Town Monday - Hatfield House.




Its amazing the history that is on your doorstep and just how little you really know about it!! I had my education broadened last year when we travelled the 4 miles from Beth's school to the great house. I was impressed, its a beautiful place and one I intend to revisit this summer.





Hatfield House was completed in 1611. It was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury and son of Lord Burghley, the chief minister of Elizabeth I. The deer park surrounding the house and the older building of the Old Palace had been owned by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, who had used it as a home for his children, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary. It was while she was living in the Old Palace, in 1558, that Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne.

The Cecils’ former home was at Theobalds, also in Hertfordshire. In 1607, Elizabeth’s heir, James I offered to exchange Theobalds for the Old Palace and manor of Hatfield. A draft Parliamentary Act of exchange survives in the Cecil Papers at Hatfield, dated May 1607. Salisbury began building work immediately. The main architect of the house was Robert Lemynge but Simon Basil, the Surveyor of the King’s Works and Inigo Jones also contributed to the design.



Salisbury had been appointed Lord Treasurer in April 1607 as well as Chief Secretary, but, he became ill and died, aged only 48, in April 1612. Although he was buried in Hatfield, he didn’t live to enjoy the house that was to become the home of his descendants for the next 400 years.


The Old Palace is beautiful and just how imagined Elizabethan England to be.( a very romantic view!!) On a school visit they re-enact the life and times of an Elizabeth worker, we tasted food from the era, we had a go at archery, as all the Kings men were proficient archers, we had an audience with Henry VIII, and even got to sing him a song!!

14 comments:

suebaru said...

You're early..it's only Sunday!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Thanks Lyzzy, this is a very interesting post and the houes is gorgeous.

Terrie

Barrie said...

I would love to visit!

Debbielou said...

I have very fond but bleary memories of Hatfield house following a works Christmas do with mead and a tudor banquet!!

I'd love to go again and see the inside properly.

jakey said...

I remember going here with my infant school!! The head was very keen on history and we went to some wonderful places - loads more than any of my kids did anyway. Haven't been as an adult tho, so might have to think about doing that in the summer :-)

jk x

Lana Gramlich said...

How awesome. I've GOT to get across the pond someday!

Michele said...

Hi! I hopped over from Travis' blog. :-)

What a fantastic place...the history, architecture. Love it. And the gardens alone--wow! We're heading back to England in June and we're just counting the days. LOL

Great blog! Thanks for the post.

Travis Erwin said...

That landscaping is awesome.

WordVixen said...

The Old Palace is gorgeous! So many things that I didn't get to see and do while I was in England. *sigh*

But all of that grandeur pales in comparison to logging onto your blog and being greeted by Vindaloo. AAAAh! I've been trying to find it to download for years! I actually had to sit here with my eyes shut and singing along the entire time it was playing before I could read your post. Sorry for the delay. :-D

Alexandra said...

I love Mondays and learning more about where you live! These posts are very awesome! *STAMPIN HUGS* Alex

alex keto said...

A very nice post.

The Anti-Wife said...

This is so interesting. How wonderful to have access to such fabulous places.

Charlotte said...

I love places like this, must make more of an effort ot go and see them!

Maureen said...

wow- great post....how totally interesting...love finding out these facts...keep em coming!
((()))maureen