Hardwick Hall is a magnificent Elizabethan mansion located in the Peak District. It was built by Bess of Hardwick, one of the richest women of her time, who was a close friend and confidante of Queen Elizabeth I. Today, the hall is open to the public and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history and attractions of Hardwick Hall.
Hardwick Hall was built in the late 16th century by Bess of Hardwick, who was a wealthy and influential figure in the Tudor court. She was married four times, and through these marriages, she acquired great wealth and power. Bess was a close friend and confidante of Queen Elizabeth I and was known for her lavish lifestyle and her magnificent homes.
Hardwick Hall was designed by Robert Smythson, a famous architect of the Elizabethan era. Smythson was a master of the classical style, and he created a masterpiece of Elizabethan architecture with Hardwick Hall. The hall was built over a period of several years, with work starting in 1590 and continuing until 1597.
The hall remained in the possession of Bess of Hardwick’s descendants for many generations, but it eventually fell into disrepair in the 18th century. It was rescued from ruin by the Dukes of Devonshire, who acquired the property in the 19th century and carried out extensive renovations. The hall was then passed down through the Devonshire family and is now managed by the National Trust.
Hardwick Hall is a magnificent example of Elizabethan architecture, with its imposing stone facade and intricate decorative features. The hall is surrounded by extensive gardens, which are a popular attraction in their own right. The gardens were designed in the 16th century and were restored in the 19th century by the landscape architect, Capability Brown.
The interior of the hall is equally impressive, with many rooms that are open to the public. The highlight of the hall is the Great Hall, which is a magnificent space with a double-height ceiling and ornate plasterwork. Other notable rooms include the Long Gallery, which is a 45-meter-long room with a collection of portraits and tapestries, and the High Great Chamber, which was the private living quarters of Bess of Hardwick.
The hall is also home to a museum that showcases the history of the hall and its occupants. The museum features a collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the Elizabethan era, as well as exhibits on the life of Bess of Hardwick and her descendants.
Visiting Hardwick Hall
Hardwick Hall is open to the public, and visitors can explore the gardens and the interior of the hall. Guided tours are available, and there are also audio guides that provide information on the history and attractions of the hall. The gardens are free to enter, but there is an admission fee for the hall and the museum.
By Car: The hall is located just off the A617 between Chesterfield and Mansfield. If you are traveling from Chesterfield, take the A617 towards Mansfield and follow the brown tourist signs to Hardwick Hall. If you are traveling from Mansfield, take the A617 towards Chesterfield and follow the brown tourist signs to Hardwick Hall. There is ample car parking available on site.
By Public Transport: There are several public transport options for visitors to Hardwick Hall. The nearest train station is Chesterfield, which is approximately 10 miles from the hall. From Chesterfield, visitors can take a bus or a taxi to the hall. Bus services are also available from Mansfield, Nottingham, and Sheffield. The nearest bus stop is located at the entrance to the hall.
On Foot: There are several walking routes that lead to the hall. The estate is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and visitors can enjoy a scenic walk from nearby villages such as Stainsby, Rowthorne, and Glapwell.
Once you arrive at Hardwick Hall, there is a visitor center where you can purchase tickets and obtain information about the attractions of the hall.
For national trust members, it is free to park and visit. For non-members tickets cost:
1 adult, 2 children £13.50