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Pocket Guide: Hatfield Hatfield House Hotels

As well as the historic houses in Hertfordshire's ancient towns such as St. Albans, the county has more than its fair share of magnificent stately homes. Just off the old Great North Road you'll find Hatfield House, one of the greatest and finest of these. Whether you're just passing through this part of the county or are residing at a hotel or guesthouse in Hertfordshire, this is a country pile you really must visit. It makes a brilliant destination for a day out and even the kids will be captivated by its beauty and sheer grandeur.

Hertfordshire Hotels for Historic Hatfield House

Hatfield House is quite simply the finest surviving example of a Jacobean country house in England. It was constructed between 1607 and 1611 for Robert Cecil, one of the most influential and powerful statesmen of the time and his descendants still own it, lucky them. Although the whole building is of immense historic importance, the house's chief interest lies in the surviving wing of the original Tudor Palace, also called Hatfield. This was where Queen Elizabeth I spent most of her childhood, and where she made a point of holding her first Council of State when she became queen in 1558.

A Day at Hatfield House from Hertfordshire Hotels

The original Tudor palace was partly demolished in 1607 so that a new house could be built on the site. The present building houses mementoes of Elizabeth's life and times and these include the famous Rainbow portrait of her, made around 1600 by the artist Isaac Oliver. Another popular attraction at Hatfield House is its setting for medieval banquets in the Great Hall. Whilst staying at a Hertfordshire hotel in the area, Hatfield House is a good destination whether you're interested in real Elizabethan and Jacobean history or just fancy partying and dressing up for the night.

Hatfield House is also famous for its lovely gardens. In fact, it has one of the very few 17th century gardens to have survived intact, laid out by the Robert Cecil, with a little help from the great John Tradescant.