A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

Hatfield House and Elizabeth I

17 pics. Hatfield House is one of the most historically significant places to photograph near London and The Grounds ⇐,  Extraordinary Chickens ⇐,  Hatfield House Website ⇒.

Upon an autumn day being 27th November 1558 beside an oak tree near to Hatfield House which was her home at the time, Princess Elizabeth Tudor was told that she had become Queen Elizabeth I of England, following the death of her elder half-sister Queen Mary I.

Elizabeth’s accession had not been a certainty. Queen Mary I, also known as “Bloody Mary”, resented her own mother’s displacement as Henry VIII’s wife by Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn. Queen Mary’s sobriquet stemmed from her attempt to return England to Catholicism by persecution of Protestants. Elizabeth was considered to have protestant leanings and likely to undo Mary’s efforts.

Fortunately Elizabeth was popular and had a number of powerful allies. Otherwise the whole future of Britain would have been changed and would have had a significant impact upon world history. Elizabeth’s reign of 44 years was known as a Golden Age with herself as “Gloriana” the virgin queen.

Portraits of Elizabeth started to include a variety of symbols which made them statements of intent and power and helped to establish the cult of Elizabeth. Here are two of them with some of the symbols explained, followed by images from within Hatfield House.

Elizabeth I Ermine Painting at Hatfield House

 

The Ermine Portrait shows Elizabeth holding an olive branch in her right hand signifying the offer of peace. Upon her left is an ermine wearing a crown as a collar and near her left hand the sword of state.

The ermine in the picture, with its black flecks, is a stylised version that indicates its heraldic significance that looks up to the queen.

An ermine is a stoat (short-tailed weasel) in its white winter coat. It represents purity and valour based upon an old legend that it would rather die than soil its white coat. Monarchs and peers had used the ermine to make cloaks. With several of the pelts sown together, the black tipped tails created a pattern of dark flecks. This then became an heraldic device of black flecks upon white.

Taken overall the message is that whilst Elizabeth offered peace, she was ready to use the sword, limited only by righteous regal purity.

Elizabeth I Rainbow Painting at Hatfield House

The Rainbow Portrait includes the Latin phrase “Non Sine Sole Iris” (No Rainbow Without Sun). Although in the last year of her reign, Elizabeth is depicted in her prime with flowery symbols of spring on her dress.

The dress is protected by a cloak that has eyes and ears both inside and outside. There is also a serpent on her arm that represents subtle wisdom and a powerful bite.

The rainbow in her right hand seems to have no colour. I have not found a commentator who explains this but does seem to be of significance.

Taken altogether this is Elizabeth as the source of nature’s beauty and light protected by an ability to hear and see everything and to act upon that knowledge.

One of the famous Queen Elizabeth I Armada paintings can be seen at The Queen’s House ⇐ in Greenwich. 

There have been many films depicting Elizabeth’s very dramatic life. My personal favourites are the 1998 film “Elizabeth” and the 2007 film “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” both starring Cate Blanchett and, I think, definitely worth seeing.

And, here is the house:-

Ornate Ceilijng at Hatfield House

 

Ornate Wardrobe at Hatfield House

 

Lord Cecil at Hatfield House

 

Ornate Clock at Hatfield House

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Grandfather Clock at Hatfield House

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Organ at Hatfield House

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Staircase at Hatfield House

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Ceiling at Hatfield House

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Library at Hatfield House

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Adam and Eve Painting at Hatfield House

There are a great many works of art in Hatfield House, this one took my interest because it shows that artists of the past had some curious notions or tried to create them.  In this picture of Eden there are people other than Adam and Eve and some of the animals are transparent.  Click on twice for a closer view.

Long Hall at Hatfield House

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Armour at Hatfield House

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Cicely Alice Marchioneess of Salisbury at Hatfield House

This painting of Cicely Alice (Marchioness of Salisbury) was painted about 1910.  I found it to be somewhat enigmatic.  Whilst I could not find any cause for it, if you click on twice to expand, it looks as if she is about to burst into tears.

Stained Glass at Hatfield House

More from the grounds ⇐.

11 responses

  1. Love the history and these great photos Graham! ❤
    Diana xo

    Like

    September 14, 2015 at 01:47

  2. We toured an old asylum this weekend. It was built in the late 1800’s and was the most humane facility of the time in the States (and probably until its demise!). Part of the tour highlighted the impressive architecture, and while it was – and is – a lovely facility, I couldn’t help but compare it mentally to places like this that we just don’t have.
    Lovely history and photos you’ve shared.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2015 at 03:32

    • I’ve seen some photo’s of architecture/decor over there and its very good, a lot of precision and craftsmanship. Of course we do have the very old stuff and tradition. Sitting by an open fire roasting an occasional peasant followed by a festive flogging. I do miss it but one can’t get the staff. 🙂

      Have you noticed how they used to pay a lot more attention to ceilings than we do today. Makes one wonder how they spent their time.

      Thanks for dropping by. G. 🙂

      Like

      September 16, 2015 at 18:08

  3. Wow – how ornate and wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 17, 2015 at 14:13

  4. Incredible and gorgeous! Stunning series Graham~

    Like

    September 29, 2015 at 03:32

    • Thank you. It was certainly an intriguing time in British history. 🙂

      Like

      September 29, 2015 at 11:45

  5. questo è meraviglioso! grazie

    Like

    October 14, 2015 at 05:17

  6. Reblogged this on IdealisticRebel's Daily View of Favorites.

    Like

    December 10, 2015 at 00:01

    • Thank you. I hope your readers find it interesting. 🙂

      Like

      December 10, 2015 at 00:12

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