Agriculture and Horticulture

This is just a sample of some of the agricultural and horticultural associations with Hatfield.


John Tradescant the Elder – employed by Robert Cecil (the builder of Hatfield House) as his gardener (and in an age where trades were passed from father to son, it is more than likely that his son, John Tradescant the Younger, would have also lived and worked in Hatfield). Thanks to the patronage of his employer, he travelled overseas to bring back suitable plant specimens to Britain.


Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury – revitalised the gardens at Hatfield House and recreated a Tudor knot garden in what used to be the quadrangle of the Old Palace. Her experiences and ideas are recorded in the book The Gardens at Hatfield by Sue Snelling. Recognised as a garden designer in her own right, she maintains close links with The Garden Museum (formerly the Museum of Garden History).


Young Princess – A purple rose unveiled by TV gardener and writer Sarah Raven at Hatfield House in 2008 in honour of Queen Elizabeth I time at Hatfield.


Rural England – A two-volume work aimed at sharing and promoting best agricultural practice written by famous author H Rider Haggard. Best known for his fictional works, like King Solomon's Mines and She, H Rider Haggard visited Hatfield and mentions the town in Volume One.


Hertfordshire County Show – Hertfordshire Agricultural Society was first formed in 1801. The society was in decline when, at a meeting in Hatfield in 1879, the idea of a exhibition was proposed that helped revived the society. The revived society held its first of show in Hatfield in 1880. Later, in 1962, the society bought the land in Redbourn where the show is held to this day.


Hatfield House Country Show – annual country fair held at the exhibition grounds at Hatfield House.


Tractors – US-made Caterpillar and John Deere tractors helped British farmers improve their yields. Hatfield-based Jack Olding & Company were their UK agents (in the case of Caterpillar sole agents). Later, the company had the worldwide rights for marketing the British-made Vickers Vigor tractor – a radical new design that sported a Rolls-Royce engine.


Opperman Motocart – the Reliant Robin of the agricultural world. Manufactured by a Hertfordshire-based company S E Opperman. It was a three-wheeler with a flatbed platform behind. Marketed by Jack Olding & Company (who later appear also to have taken over manufacturing as well).


Empire Farmers in Canada – in 1932 a group of farmers from Britain, South Africa and Ireland spent two months touring Canada on a factfinding mission on wheat farming. They appointed D Crawford from Hatfield as their leader (although it is not yet confirmed that he was from Hatfield, Herts).


Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) – dating back to the age of the dinosaurs and believed to have been extinct until rediscovered in Australia in 1994. Three saplings of this critically endangered species, a gift from Richard Walduck OBE, were planted in Hatfield on 8 April 2011.


David Austin a breeder named a rose, Lady Salisbury (Auscezed), to mark the 400th anniversary of Hatfield House at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show.


Hatfield Park Farm – a 25-acre rare breeds farm opened in 2011 next to Hatfield House (and is part of the estate). It rears rare breeds of common farm animals.


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