This is my first post for Author’s Speak and I’m very happy to be here. Those of you who have read my stories know I’m not one to stick to a particular genre, but today I’m wearing my historical hat. I’d like to share my obsession with one of my favourites characters, not one of flesh and blood, but Crofton Hall, the stately home belonging to my Earls of Crofton (the Redbourn Family), and the inspiration behind it.
So without out further ado let me introduce you to Hatfield House, the home of Lord Salisbury – isn’t she magnificent?
Built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, Hatfield House is a smidgen too young to exactly be the original Crofton Hall (since Crofton Hall was built in the 1570s and later extended) but Hatfield House’s architecture and design still fits the bill and is certainly what I envisage for the stories that will be set after the original Crofton Chronicles series.
Like any great character, Hatfield House has changed through the years. Each generation added to the sumptuous décor which set my imagination racing with what could have happened within the walls of the manor house and how the lives of those who lives there were moulded.
Here are three of the many photos I took on my last visit. I bet you can see why Hatfield House inspires me so much!
The Long Gallery
Here I imagine the flash of blades and the shuffling of feet as swords clash and a gentleman’s honour is defended. Did a miss-spoken word lead to bloodshed? Were friendships forged and lost at the tip of a rapier?
Hiding behind hedges were sweethearts wooed? Breathy trysts undertaken away from the ever- watching eyes of the house? How many tears were shed? How many hearts were broken? Were lovers once put asunder reunited in a secret space?
The Victorian era kitchen
The kitchens of any large house are busy, loud and chaotic at times. Hatfield House’s kitchen were remodelled in the Victoria era and the same for Crofton Hall, but for Crofton Hall they were updated for a very different reason. I imagine the earl dabbling too much with his new-fangled science experiments, pushing the limits of his knowledge one step too far and the resulting explosion leaving him with the need for new kitchens.
I hope you can see from this brief insight into this beautiful building why I might be more than a little bit in love with Hatfield House, and why the Crofton Hall I created from it is more than just a structure but a character in her own right.
Are there any building that inspire you?
REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.