Hatfield Forest is a rare surviving example of a medieval royal hunting Forest, with over 1,000 acres of coppices and wood pasture.
It is mentioned in the Domesday Book prepared for William the Conquerer in 1086. The royal hunting Forest was created by Henry I around 1100 - royal hunting rights remained until 1446.
Ownership passed through a succession of owners, including Robert the Bruce, the Dukes of Buckingham, the Rich family, the Parkers and the Turnors. This was a period of disputes between parties who held rights to different parts and aspects of the Forest.
In 1729, the Forest was bought by the Houblon family, and they made changes to the landscape, as it became an extension to their estate at Hallingbury Place. During the 19th century, it was saved from enclosure.
The Forest was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1924.