Tensile stress–strain relationship of a rolled Zircaloy-4 (Zr-4) plate was examined in situ using a neutron diffraction method at room temperature (RT, 25 °C) and an elevated temperature (250 °C). Variations of lattice strains were obtained as a function of macroscopic bulk strains along prismatic (View the MathML source), basal (0 0 0 2) and pyramidal (View the MathML source) planes in the hexagonal close-packed structure of the Zr-4. The mechanisms of strain responses in these three major planes were simulated using elastic–plastic self-consistent (EPSC) model based on Hill–Hutchinson method, thus the inter-granular stresses and deformation systems of each individual grain under loading were obtained. Results show that there is a good agreement between the EPSC modeling and neutron diffraction measurements in terms of macroscopic stress–strain relationship and lattice strain evolutions of the planes at RT. However, there is a slight discrepancy in the lattice strains obtained from the EPSC modeling and neutron diffraction when the specimen was deformed at 250 °C. Analysis of grain structure and texture obtained using electron back-scattered diffraction suggests that dynamic recovery process is significant during the tensile deformation at the elevated temperature, which was not considered in the simulation.