The Old Palace Hatfield House

Hatfield House
The Royal Palace of Hatfield in Hertfordshire (c 1485) is where Elizabeth I spent most of her childhood. Henry VIII owned the older building of the old palace and surrounding deer park and used it as a home for his children, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary.
Elizabeth was sent to live at Hatfield when she was only three months old. It was the little princesses own private household managed by a staff of nurses, courtiers and tutors. Her now illegitimate half-sister, Lady Mary, was sent to wait on her. On the few occasions that Queen Anne Boleyn visited her daughter at Hatfield, the tension, between the now illegitimate Lady Mary and her ‘step-mother’, must have been extreme.

Before her third birthday, Elizabeth also found herself a mere ‘Lady’ and motherless.

Today, visitors can see the newer Hatfield House and what remains of the original Royal Palace of Hatfield. Unfortunately, all that remains of the old palace where Elizabeth lived and the palace that Queen Anne Boleyn would have known is the Banqueting Hall.

Banqueting Hall Hatfield House

In the park, an oak tree marks the place where Elizabeth first heard of her accession to the throne on November 17th 1558. This is a wonderful spot to just sit and ponder those famous words, “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Hatfield House Gardens

For those of us that love the thought of being in a space once filled with the laughter and tears of Elizabeth and her mother Queen Anne Boleyn, then this is a place you must visit. Although there is not much left of the original palace, the grounds still resonate with the ghosts of its past inhabitants.

For more information visit:

Hatfield House



  1. Angus Murray says:

    Interesting information, appreciated!

  2. Christina Day says:

    I visited the Old Palace at Hatfield in 1977 and we enjoyed an Elizabethan banquet in the banqueting hall there. I was wondering if they still held those there.

  3. Jan Hatfield says:

    Where & how did the name Hatfield derive for the Palace? I understand “hat” “field was how the name came about…apparently the field was where the man made hats is what we have learned so far…

    • D. G. Hatfield Sr. says:

      Hatfield name derived from the heather flower or (cinquefoil). During the time Sir names were being developed, the family owning the property where the Hatfield Royal Palace now sits was given the name Heatherfield, this because the property being covered by Heather Flowers. The name Hatfield derived from Heatherfield. The name originated around 1100 AD when Sir names were originated. Part of the Hatfield family included Sir Stephen of Hatfield, a Knight of England, along with other Sir’s and Lord’s being of minor royalty.

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