400 years of culture at Hatfield HouseView map
Movie stars are not included
agle-eyed movie-goers may well recognise Hatfield House from a number of blockbuster films. In the Tomb Raider films, for example, it was the outside of Lara Croft’s mansion; in Elizabeth: The Golden Age it featured as Mary Queen of Scots’ prison, Chartley Hall – and in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes remake, starring Jude Law, the house’s Long Gallery made an appearance.
Aside from its numerous star turns, however, the house is the real-life home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury – and it’s dripping in history.
Now listen carefully, because there will be a quiz – no joke, kids can pick one up from reception. The house has been in the Cecil family since 1611 and is a rather impressive example of Jacobean architecture (even if we say so ourselves); it’s full of historical knick-knacks – like a pair of Queen Elizabeth I’s gloves and silk stockings, for example.
In fact, the young Elizabeth spent much of her time here, growing up; it was where she found out she was to be queen (an oak tree in the park marks the very spot) – so why not follow in her regal footsteps with a stroll in the scented gardens she loved so much?