The arrangement of rooms throughout the House was determined by the assumption that the King and the court would be visiting Hatfield regularly. Called ‘the withdrawing chamber on the King’s side’ in 17th-century inventories, it was hung with tapestries depicting the story of Hannibal and Scipio. Later it was used as a billiard room and, more recently, as a sitting room.
The bed, the chimneypiece and the ceiling all date from the first half of the 19th century. The refurnishing of the room has evolved around the new wallpaper, which has been hand-painted in China. The four-poster bed is early Victorian. The yellow silk damask hangings have largely been renewed in recent years. The chimneypiece has been repainted to resemble red Chinese lacquer. In keeping with the oriental theme, four fierce golden dragons support a brightly-gilded cage containing a pair of ho-ho birds. These are the work of Rupert Brown, who made the Chase Desk. The painted cartouches on the ceiling depict crests and armorial bearings of the Cecils and of some of the families with whom they are connected by marriage. The arms featuring three gold buckles are those of Stirling, the family of the present Marchioness.