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The old (Royal) Palace at Hatfield House.


Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

Hatfield House Old Palace
Image source: Wikimedia | Public Domain

Hatfield House Old Palace

The first building on the site of Hatfield House was the Royal Palace, now known as the Old Palace, and was built in 1497 by the Bishop of Ely. It was the childhood home of King Henry VIII's children, the future monarchs King Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. The Old Palace is mostly associated with Elizabeth who spent many happy years there until she was placed under 'house arrest' at age 15 years for being suspected of unlawfully agreeing to marry Thomas Seymour. She was later imprisoned in the Tower of London for two months by her sister, then Queen Mary I of England, and afterwards returned to the Old Palace. It is said that Elizabeth was sitting beneath an oak tree in the park when she received news of Mary's death and her accession to the throne on November 17th 1558.

Hatfield House is reputedly haunted by the ghost of Queen Elizabeth I, who moves around the rooms in the Old Palace part of the building and whose ghostly apparition glides along the long gallery. The apparition of a lady has been seen disappearing after leaving the Old Palace main gateway. Footsteps in the main building, believed to be those of first Marchioness, who knocked over a candle and burnt to death in 1835, have also been heard descending stairs and in the main passageway. Hatfield House is also said to be haunted by a phantom coach and horses which move along the driveway and enter the house through the main door. The coach and horses then disappear.

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