There’s so much to see at Hatfield from formal gardens to the pleasure grounds and Wilderness.
Wander through the West Garden and enjoy the Scented Garden, Knot Garden as well as numerous fountains and the fascinating Longitude Dial.
The East Garden is only open on Thursdays during the open season. The formal layout includes parterre, topiary, herbaceous borders and a vegetable garden.
Don’t miss the Maze Garden or the Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I in the House.
If you have time, take one of the three Woodland Walks. Clearly signposted, features to look out for are the 16-acre Broadwater, the Castle Folly and the Oak Tree. The tree you see here today was planted by Elizabeth II in 1985. It replaced the original tree which is said to be where Elizabeth I was reading when she learned she had become queen in 1588.
Dogs are welcome in the Park.
Hatfield House and gardens have been the setting for numerous films including The Favourite, Batman, Paddington and The Crown.
The West Garden and Hatfield House are open during the season every Thursday – Sunday and August Bank Holiday Monday.
Hatfield House is the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury.
Hatfield Palace was built c1480 by Cardinal John Morton but after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it became the property of the Crown. Lived in by the children of Henry VIII, it was here that Elizabeth heard in 1558 that she had become Queen.
In 1607, Robert Cecil accepted the offer by James I to exchange the Cecil’s house at Theobalds for the Old Palace and Manor at Hatfield. Cecil pulled down the Palace except for the Hall and built a new house close by. The main architect was Robert Lemynge with contributions from Simon Basil, the Surveyor of the King’s Works and Inigo Jones.
Cecil’s gardener from Theobalds, Mountain Jennings worked with Robert Bell to design the gardens. The East Garden was laid out by Thomas Chaundler c1610 with waterworks by a Dutchman, Simon Sturtevant. Sturtevant was later replaced by Salomon de Caus
During this period, John Tradescant the Elder became gardener at Hatfield. Tradescant planted many rare specimens from abroad, some collected by Tradescant on his travels. Tradescant also advised Cecil on the layout of his gardens at Cranborne Manor in Dorset.
In the mid-19th century James, the second Marquess, made changes to the gardens including recreating the terraces, laying out new parterres and building a maze.
In the late 20th century, Marjorie, the 6th Marchioness created several new features including two sunken parterres in the courtyard on the south front.