The present incarnation of Hatfield House was built by Robert Cecil (First Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I) in 1611. Cecil had generously given his own home, Theobalds, to the King and was rewarded with the royal palace of Hatfield in Hertfordshire, which the King disliked, in exchange. Three wings of the Old Palace were sadly torn down by Cecil in order to build his new masterpiece, but what a masterpiece it is. I’m surprised the King never asked for it back.
A beautiful example of Jacobean architecture and packed with treasures of all sorts, Hatfield is definitely worth a visit. Our impromptu trip there a couple of weeks ago caught me without my camera, so these pics are from my iPhone instead. The sculptures are by Xavier Veilhan and were on display in the West Garden.