After my stop off at Sutton Scarsdale Hall, I decided call in at Hardwick Hall which was just a short hop down the road.
This was an odd one for me, in truth I totally underestimated it. Not only is there Hardwick Old Hall on this site which is run by English Heritage, next to it is Hardwick New Hall, which is under the stewardship of the National Trust.
Hardwick Old Hall was built between 1587 and 1596 by Bess of Hardwick, one of the richest and well connected women in the Elizabethan period.
Not happy with just one residence, she began the construction of the “new” hall in 1590. The designs of the buildings were based on Italian innovations, and both halls were designed to compliment each other, like 2 wings of the same residence.
Bess died in 1608 and her son William Cavendish took over ownership of the halls. As the years past, the Cavendish family come to prefer their residence at Chatsworth, so rather than leave two empty halls, they began to dismantle the old hall in 1750.
Whilst descendants began to preserve the old hall in the early 1900’s, It is not known what happened to all the internals. It is thought some of the elements were moved over to the new hall as it expanded over the years. The new hall was occupied until 1959 when it was handed over to the National Trust.
As I mentioned, I didn’t realise the 2 were one and the same thing, so in the 45 minutes I was able to spend there, I don’t think I did it justice. Looks like I will just have to go back.
I will split the pictures into 2 sections starting with the Old Hall.
There was a lot to see at this place, and I didn’t even get inside the New Hall or visit the gardens, so a return visit is definitely in order I think.
As always, thanks for looking.