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BISHOPS PALACE HATFIELD

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  The Palace, Old Palace
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Bishop's Palace Hatfield is a Medieval bishop's palace from late 15th century, and used by the crown from 1538-1607. The only surviving features include the gatehouse and west range. It was the originally the palace of the bishops of Ely and had been rebuilt in the newly fashionable brick in about 1480 by Bishop Morton. King Henry VIII used the palace extensively before finally formally acquiring it by exchange in 1538. Some works were undertaken, but it seems likely that no major alterations were needed. In 1549 it was granted to the then princess Elizabeth (the future Queen) and it became her main residence from 1555 until the death of Queen Mary in 1558. In 1607 the Hatfield was exchanged for another estate by James I and passed to the Cecil family. Sir Robert Cecil had much of the old house demolished and built a new mansion, Hatfield House on a different site. Some of the older buildings were retained as stabling.

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