Grade II Hatfield hotel refurbishment continues

An artists' impression of the renovated Bush Hall in Hatfield. Picture: supplied

An artists' impression of the renovated Bush Hall in Hatfield. Picture: supplied - Credit: Supplied

Work is continuing on the refurbishment of a long-dormant, Grade II listed Hatfield hotel ahead of its planned reopening next year.

A former hospital, private house, school and hotel, the ongoing restoration of Bush Hall comprises a hotel with 14 boutique rooms, a modern pub and restaurant with riverside terrace, and a standalone venue with formal gardens for weddings, family parties and corporate events.

Developers say that the project will create around 40 new jobs.

Bush Hall Hotel

Bush Hall Hotel - Credit: Archant

The hotel fell into disrepair following its closure in 2009, and in 2018 Gascoyne Cecil Estates undertook essential maintenance and repair to the property to mitigate further damage to the building whilst proposals for the future refurbishment of the property were established.

Originally constructed in the 17th century - although with some sections dating to Tudor times - the building is said to have belonged to Sir Robert Chester, who lived in the house in the early part of the 19th century and was Master of Ceremonies to George III, George IV and William IV and Queen Victoria. Beatrix Potter also used to stay there and made sketches of the site.

The Oakman Group is behind the plans for the pub, and property director Malcolm Schooling said when the scheme was announced: “When you consider the wonderful history of Bush Hall, from Queen Elizabeth I to recent years, it has always stood out as a focal point for the community.

Work on Bush Hall hotel continues. Picture: DANNY LOO

Work on Bush Hall hotel continues. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

“For Bush Hall, we are balancing new contemporary architecture with the unique qualities and charm of the listed building, which will all be equipped with modern facilities to meet the needs of the 21st century.”

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It was hoped that the new pub would have opened in 2020, but the refurbishment work was delayed by the pandemic, and it is now thought Bush Hall Hotel will officially open in 2023.

New plans for the replacement of the ceiling and timber strengthening works have recently been submitted to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. See 6/2022/0990/LB for further information.

Gascoyne Cecil estates director of property Adam Wiles and Oakman Inns CEO Peter Borg-Neal

(L-R) Gascoyne Cecil estates director of property Adam Wiles and Oakman Inns CEO Peter Borg-Neal at an exhibition to show the plans for the Bush Hall Hotel. - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

A statement from the applicants explained: "The additional works will assist in the restoration of the Grade II Listed Heritage asset to active use and should be supported in accordance with adopted national and local planning policy and when considered in light of the other material considerations."