Traveling Tuesday: Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England
Nearly six hundred years later, the village would be home to Elizabeth Tudor, later Elizabeth I, who reigned from 1558 to 1603. Parts of her childhood home still exists at Hatfield House’s Old Palace, and some of her belongings can be found inside. She also spent time in the Old Palace under house arrest during the reign of Mary I. A portion of the other wing, the Banqueting Hall, also stands and contains many of its original roof beams which are said to be pockmarked with gunshot holes from when people would shoot at the sparrows that nested in the ceiling.
Hatfield House, the country home built in 1607 and on which I based Heron Hall in A Doctor in the
Situated by the top of the hill, St. Etheldreda’s Church, the first wooden church, was founded by the monks from Ely in 1285. The current building was constructed then renovated between the 13th and 15th centuries and is exceptionally grand for a parish church, however unsurprising because it acted as the worship center for Hatfield House. The first Earl of Salisbury, Robert Cecil, is buried in an ornate tomb outside the church. A private cemetery holds other Cecil descendants.
In 1930, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, aviation pioneer and aerospace engineer, opened his airfield and
After the war, Parliament created the Abercombie Plan for London to address the vast homelessness of its citizens as a result of the war. Hatfield was one of the first eight new towns proposed and has many examples of modernist architecture from the construction project. As of the 2011 census, the city has nearly 40,000 inhabitants.
Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?
Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?
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