Hatfield Forest, Bishop's Stortford, England
Record Id: 7554
Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.
Brief description of site
Hatfield Forest is a rare example of a surviving medieval Royal hunting Forest, characterized by coppices, woodland pasture and rides. In addition to the natural features, the central area contains landscape features mostly dating from the 18th century: an artificial lake, exotic, non-native specimen trees such as planes, yews, horse chestnuts and cedars of Lebanon, and a Shell House or Grotto on the lakeside. Capability Brown was responsible for a slightly later modification to the lake.
Brief history of site
Hatfield was declared a Royal Forest by Henry I in about 1100 and fallow deer were introduced from Sicily. The last Royal hunting rights were surrendered in 1446. The Forest then passed through a succession of owners, before being acquired by the Houblon family in 1729. By 1746, a lake of about 3.24 hectares had been created in the marshy central area of the Forest. A Shell House was built beside it. In 1757, Lancelot Capability Brown proposed a scheme for improvements, although only part of the plan was implemented. The National Trust acquired the Forest in 1924, as a result of a bequest made by the noted conservationist, Edward North Buxton.
Address: Takeley, Bishop's Stortford, Essex, CM22 6NE
Locality: Bishop's Stortford
Essex; Uttlesford; Hatfield Broad
Historical County: Essex
|OS Landranger Map Sheet Number:||167||Grid Ref:||TL537203|
Opening contact details:
Form of site: landscape park
Purpose of site: Ornamental
Context or principal building: recreational
Site first created: After 1100
Main period of development: Mid 18th century
Site Size (Hectares): 400