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Pictures of Hatfield

in the county of Hertfordshire

About Hatfield

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Hatfield is a town with two histories. There is the history of the ancient market town whose roots are firmly embedded in Saxon times, and the modern-day history of a town that grew to meet the demands of the housing population. This latter day history owes much to the development of the De Havilland Aircraft Company, founded as a family business by Sir Geoffrey de Havilland in the 1920's when Sir Geoffrey was a young aircraft designer.

Following the founding of the business, an Aerodrome park was developed in Hatfield and it was here during the second world war that the famous Mosquito aircraft was constructed. The De Havilland company were also responsible for the development of the Comet and the Trident jet passenger planes. The De Havilland company contributed greatly to the life of Hatfield and when the adjacent area was designated for a 'new town' this company had a major role in the town's development. This great aircraft industry ensured the town's prosperity for many years until, as British Aerospace, the site sadly closed in 1993. A period of gloom was created by the loss of the industry but confidence has since been restored by the development of new business and science parks and the growth of the University.

Romantic as aviation may be to some, it is the romance of the past that appeals to others.

The royal palace of Hatfield dates 1497 and it was here that Queen Elizabeth I spent her childhood until she ascended to the throne in the year 1558. Elizabeth is said to have spent a happy childhood here and one can well imagine the young Princess with her beautiful bright red hair strolling in the great park that surrounded the house in the company of friends and colourful courtiers. There is a great Oak tree in the park, it is referred to as Elizabeth's Oak and said to be the spot where Elizabeth I received news of her accession.

When James I became King, he eventually dealt the property to Sir Robert Cecil in exchange for Thebolds Park. The construction of the new Hatfield House took place during the years 1607-1611. It is a magnificent house. It has, within it's richly carved and decorated great hall, a unique collection of paintings. The great hall of the old palace still remains in the grounds of Hatfield House and is used today as a Banqueting Hall.

The old town of Hatfield is full of attractive old buildings. There is a row of gracious Georgian properties stepped up Fore Street, and both Park Street and Church Street have buildings of architectual interest. The town offers excellent facilities with a good mix of shops. You will find quaint antique shops and those stores which are now household names. There are several interesting inns and restaurants and three superb golf clubs are all within easy reach of the town. Other local attractions are; the Mosquito Aircraft Museum, a nearby Wildfowl trust and Paradise Park at Brickendon.
HATFIELD Information submitted by: Terri Walton

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