Hatfield, Herefordshire – a parish in Leominster district, Hereford, it is mentioned in the 11th Century Domesday Book (St Leonard's Church is thought to have been built around the time of the Norman Conquest). Once close to the Bromyard and Leominster Railway (built between 1861-97; closed in the 1960's as part of Dr Beeching's cuts). Historically, its principal residence, Hatfield Court, was originally an Elizabethan house. However, it fell into ruin in the 19th Century and the current property of that name dates back to this time. The similarity in spelling between the counties of Herefordshire (capital town: Hereford) and Hertfordshire (capital town: Hertford) can lead to confusion between the two.
Hatfield, Hertfordshire – the subject of this website. Mentioned in the 11th Century Domesday Book. However, often confused with the other Hatfields, particularly Hatfield in Herefordshire and Hatfield in Doncaster. Once the largest parish in Hertfordshire (and called Bishops Hatfield), it ceased to be a district following a forced merger (as a junior partner) with the larger, neighbouring town of Welwyn Garden City in the early 1970s. Hatfield Garden Village was built bordering the airfield in 1935 to meet the additional demand for housing following the de Havilland Aircraft Company's relocation to the town.
Hatfield (Doncaster), South Yorkshire – mentioned in the 11th Century Domesday Book. Like Hatfield in Hertfordshire it has a long and distinguished history (the Battle of Hatfield took place here and possibly the Synod of Hatfield 680 AD). According to the town council's website, for 500-years after the Norman Conquest, Hatfield Chase with Hatfield Village at its centre was part of a forest and royal hunting ground of around 70,000-acres. Geoffrey Chaucer, author of Canterbury Tales, once once lived here. Sections of Hatfield Chase was drained by Sir Cornelius Vermuyden who was employed by King Charles I for this purpose. Later changes saw the inclusion of Hatfield Woodhouse (used for an airfield during WWII – initially called RAF Hatfield Woodhouse but changed – to avoid confusion with the airfield at Hatfield, Herts – to RAF Lindholme), Dunscroft, and Dunsville. The area is home to the Hatfield Colliery (also known as Hatfield Main), Hatfield Marina and HMP Hatfield. Like its Hertfordshire namesake it was administratively merged with a neighbouring settlement, Stainforth (as Stainforth & Hatfield; however, it was later found to be the bigger of the two and the railway station was renamed Hatfield & Stainforth).
Hatfield, Worcestershire – appears to be a small hamlet in the district of Wychavon near the historic City of Worcester. Origins unclear.
Hatfield Barrow, Marden Henge, Wiltshire – sadly, no longer exists. Once part of Marden Henge – the largest henge (a monument of wood or stone) in Britain, it is over 4,500 years old and exactly half way between Stonehenge and Avebury. Hatfield Barrow was a huge mound – reported to have been around 15 metres high – in the middle of the enclosure. However, in 1807, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and William Cunnington carried out excavations on the site which later caused it to collapse.
Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex – once one of the largest parishes in Essex. Was also known as Hatfield Regis or King's Hatfield to differentiate it from Bishops Hatfield (modern Hatfield in Hertfordshire, which belonged to the Bishop of Ely -– although it was usually spelt without an apostrophe), and Hatfield Chipping. Known as Hatfield Broad Oak from at least the 12th Century. Today, it is a rural parish that lies in between Hatfield Forest and Hatfield Heath.
Hatfield Forest, Essex – ancient woodland, once used as a Royal hunting ground (dating back to King Harold). Once home to the famous Doodle Oak (measured in 1813 as having a 60 ft base, its remains had disappeared by 1924). Today the forest belongs to the National Trust.
Hatfield Heath, Essex – once the main hamlet of Hatfield Broad Oak.
Hatfield Moor, South Yorkshire – south east of the main housing area in that Hatfield. Together with Thorne Moor forms Britain's largest lowland raised (due to the peat and moss) bog. Largely, abandoned peat workings, they cover around 8,000 acres. These Humber Peatlands are a valuable nature habitat and were bought by the UK Government in 2001.
Hatfield Park War Cemetery (part of Hatfield, Hertfordshire) – sad reminder of the wartime use of Hatfield House as a military hospital. It is an official Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery. Although not mentioned on the CWGC's online database (as he was not a member of the armed forces) it is also the final resting place of a de Havilland Aircraft Company employee John Henry Francis Scrope. He was killed when the DH.98 Mosquito he was acting as flight observer in, test flown by John de Havilland (second son of Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, buried in Tewin Church cemetery along with his mother, and elder brother Geoffrey de Havilland Jr – killed in a later plane crash), collided with another Hatfield Mosquito on a test flight (all four men on the two planes were killed).
Hatfield Peverel, Essex – mentioned in the 11th Century Domesday Book. Reputed to have got the 'Peverel' name from a a prior founded by Ingelrica, wife of Ranulph Peverel, during the reign of William II.
Great Hatfield, East Riding of Yorkshire (near Hornsea) – mentioned in the 11th Century Domesday Book. According to the Parish Council history, a family called Hatfield (said to have taken their named from the village) dates back to the 14th Century. When the most famous, Thomas de Hatfield, became a Bishop, and later tutor to King Edward III's son. He is said to have founded Trinity College, Oxford (but it's a bit more convoluted than that). In 1935, merged with Goxhill and Little Hatfield to form Parish of Hatfield. In the 1960s railway access suffered as a result of Dr Beeching's cuts.
Little Hatfield, East Riding of Yorkshire (near Hornsea) – mentioned in the 11th Century Domesday Book. Located a short distance from Great Hatfield.
Back to: Features on Hatfield23 August 2012