At the time it was the largest privately owned Elizabethean house in England. It was reported to have been 7,300 square metres. It was three stories high; had two large state rooms; a beautiful long gallery and well furnished accomodation for elite society and their servants. It was built in the Italian style - symmetrical facades; Doric columns and 123 huge glass windows (at a time when glass was very expensive). He had rooms specially decorated for Elizabeth and private rooms directly above hers for himself.
This was the original building.
The cost of building the place almost bankrupted Hatton. He died relatively penniless eight years after its completion. Unfortunately there are no records that Elizabeth ever spent a single night in that house.
On Charles Hatton's death it passed to his nephew. In 1607 it was bought by James 1 and 40 years later Charles 1 was kept prisoner there for six months until he was handed over to Parliament. The property was then sold to Adam Baynes, a captain in the New Model Army. He demolished most of it - leaving only a small domestic wing! It was remodelled in the nineteenth century but fell into disrepair.
In the 1700s the gardens covered 15 acres. It has a formal structure that stretches out 1700 feet to a stream and a 'wilderness' area which was carefully laid out as it contained " almost the whole variety of English trees and ranged in an elegant order."