Hatfield House is grand brick-and-stone Jacobean mansion built between 1607 and 1611 for Robert Cecil, first earl of Salisbury and seceretary of state to Elizabeth I, then James I.
The site was previously occupied by the Royal Palace of Hatfield (circa. 1485), where Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood.
Hatfield House has been the traditional home of the descendant of Robert Cecil from the time it was built to this day. One famous occupant was the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, three times Prime Minister under Queen Victoria, at the height of the British Empire. The 7th Marquess of Salisbury currently owns the property.
Hatfield House is open from Easter Saturday to end September. The Park, West Gardens, restaurant and shop are open from Saturday to Wednesday from 11am to 5:30pm (admission £4.50, children £3.50; or park only £2, children £1).
Visits of the house itself are by guided tours on Mondays only (except national holidays) from 12 noon to 4pm. As the East Gardens are also open on Mondays, admission to the park and gardens on that day is £6.50 and an extra £5 for the house tour.
How to get there
Hatfield is 35km north of London. It is 20min by train from London's King's Cross station (£7 day return). The entrance to Hatfield House is opposite Hatfield station.
Greenline bus No 797 also links London to Hatfield, and bus No 724 makes the connections between St Albans and Hatfield (both run hourly).