Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Welwyn Hatfield (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 23715 08394


Old Hatfield TL 2308 HATFIELD HATFIELD PARK (west side)

15/139 Hatfield House



County house. Built for Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury, between 1607 and 1612. Designed by Robert Liming or Lyminge, assisted by Robert Cecil, his friend Thomas Wilson, and probably by Simon Basyll and Inigo Jones. The W wing was gutted by fire in 1835 and redecorated by the second marquess (d. 1868), who also did much decoration in other parts of the house.

Red brick with stone dressings. E-shape.

3 storeys and attic over basement. Stone mullioned and transomed windows of 2 to 6 lights. N entrance elevation is 15 windows. Central 3-storey porch bay with arched, shell-headed door flanked by pairs of fluted Roman Doric columns. Strapwork to pedestals, frieze and overthrow. C19 steps in 2 flights. 4-window flanking walls have 2-storey canted window bays near 3-window end projections. End projections have 3 and a half storey tower projections, formerly with cupola domes. The basement has a moulded plinth and 2 4-centre doors on each side of the right hand end pavilion. Main south front has a 9-window loggia in ashlar stone. The central feature is a 3-stage triumphal entrance with pairs of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns at each level. Double doors like those of N elevation. Strapwork to columns and pedestals. Large coat of arms to third stage and 1611 date on parapet. Top stage renewed 1982. Loggia either side was enclosed by stone trellis-work windows c1846, when much of the stone work of the front was probably restored. Ground and 1st floor Doric and Ionic fluted pilasters with carved pedestals and strapwork friezes. Strapwork parapet renewed c1950. Upper floor windows have bracketed sills. Flanking sides of courtyard are 6 windows: 3 2-storey bay windows alternating with 2-light openings and 3-light attic windows with strapwork semicircular crests. Doric doorways with similar crests. W side has large chapel window with 2-storey 12-arched light windows. End elevations of wings have square projecting turrets with leaded cupolas and strapwork parapets between them. Central 2-storey canted bay windows, that on W with C19 balcony and steps. E and W elevations are two part compositions. N parts have 3 canted 2- storey window bays with flat parapets. Recessed narrow gabled central bay. S part with two small gables. Rising from the centre of the house is a 3-stage wooden clock tower. The bottom stage has triplets of Doric columns at the angles and triplet arches between. Cube-shape middle stage has clocks N and S and pairs of Ionic columns at angles. Arched octagonal turret with leaded cupola. This part is possibly by Inigo Jones.

Outstanding features of the interior are the Hall and Grand Staircase, both with wood carving by John Bucke. The hall screen has profuse Jacobean ornament and a projecting upper gallery, closed in the C19. A second gallery is corbelled out of the E wall which has here two stone doorways. Hammerbeam ceiling with paintings by Taldini, brought in by Third Marquess, 1878. The Grand Staircase has richly carved balusters and newel posts, the newels of carved lions and cupids. The Summer Drawing Room, E of the staircase has a well-preserved original interior. The Chapel in the W range has a large E window with twelve panes of original stained glass. The secondary staircase in the W wing, called the Adam and Eve staircase, was remodelled in the C19, but retains of fire door surround of c1700 on the 1st floor. The Long Gallery has panelling in two tiers and divided by pilasters, the fireplaces and ceilings possibly C19. King James's Drawing Room on the E has a restored ceiling and a contemporary fireplace by Maximilian Colt. King James's Bedroom, adjoining, has a fireplace taken from the Summer Dining Room. (C.L. 11.8.1900; 28.6 and 5.7.1907; 14.12.1907; Pevsner (1977).

Listing NGR: TL2371508394


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977)
'Country Life' in 11 August, (1900)
'Country Life' in 14 December, (1907)
'Country Life' in 28 June, (1907)
'Country Life' in 5 July, (1907)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 21 Hertfordshire,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 21 Jun 2002
Reference: IOE01/04270/01
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Arnopp. Source Historic England Archive
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