Hatfield House

12 Postcards (c.1950s)

The North Front of Hatfield House is one of the finest examples of Tudor domestic architecture to be found anywhere in England. The bricks were taken from the Old Palace which dates back to 1497.
The South Front was built in the early 17th century with stone traditionally said to have been brought from Caen in Normandy. Behind the arches on the ground floor is the Armoury. The beautiful Long Gallery runs the entire length of the first floor.
Much of the armour displayed in the Armoury was taken after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588. The tapestries, known as “The Four Seasons”, were made in Gloucestershire in 1611 and are probably the finest work of the period in existence.
The Long Gallery has remained unaltered since it was built at the beginning of the 17th century though the ceiling was gilded at a later date. Among the many treasures which it contains is a contemporary pedigree of Queen Elizabeth tracing her ancestry back to Adam.
The large portrait at the end of the Hall is one of the last portraits of Mary Queen of Scots to be painted before her death. The flags hanging from the 17th century Minstrels’ Gallery are Napoleonic Eagles captured after the Battle of Waterloo. The room also contains two contemporary portraits of Queen Elizabeth.
On the wall of this Renaissance staircase hang many interesting family portraits. To the right of the staircase is the famous Rainbow portrait of Queen Elizabeth by Zuccaro. At the top of the first flight may be seen the 17th century gates put in to prevent dogs penetrating the upper floors.
The beautiful East window of the Chapel is of early 17th century glass and was put up by the 1st Earl of Salisbury when Hatfield House was built.
The Maze occupies the lowest terrace on the east side of Hatfield House and may be seen from King James’s Drawing Room.
The silk stockings are said to have been the first ever to be brought to this country.
Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, was imprisoned in the Old Palace. From the tower Mary saw her father ride past on his way to London without giving her so much as a glance. Her sister Elizabeth was later confined there by Mary.
The Old Palace dates from 1497. The greater part was pulled down to provide bricks for Hatfield House. The only remaining portion of the Old Palace was used as a stable for 300 years.
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The above collection of postcards dates from the 1950s. Captions are as shown on the postcards themselves.

This page was added on 14/01/2017.

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