The family now live in the East wing of the house while parts of the remainder are open to the public. The outside is an impressive size but gives little impression of the grandeur that awaits within.
The family were certainly not shy about exhibiting their wealth. Every inch is stuffed with furniture, decorated with intricate carvings and hung with rich tapestries and fine paintings.
Elizabeth I loved the old palace and was supposed to have been told of her accession to the throne beneath an oak in the park.
Just look at the intricate carving on the stairs.
If you're into minimalist interiors you won't care much for Hatfield. And there are so many paintings that you could spend several hours in this room alone just getting to know them.
The picture above shows a curved panel from the side of a writing desk, all achieved by marquetry, the inlaying of rare woods of different colours.
Above is the Chinese Bedroom....
And this room is the Long Gallery. It's a mere 170 feet long and, yes, that ceiling is gilded. It was done in the mid-nineteenth century after the Second Marquess had seen a gold ceiling in Venice. This room was used for taking exercise as well as displaying paintings.
The Winter Dining Room (above)....
...and the very well-stocked library.
On next to the Armoury...
This room was once open-sided but is now glazed. Many suits of armour are displayed and there's also a very ornate organ at one end of the room. Concerts are still occasionally held here.
Then it's on to the chapel...
...before a change of atmosphere to drop down into the servants quarters....
Any volunteers for cleaning the kettles?
Then it was out into the sunshine again to enjoy the extensive gardens.