Discover the Hall at Hardwick
Hardwick Hall is one of the finest Elizabethan buildings in the country. A big claim but we’re confident you’ll agree. Full of architectural and artistic delights from Elizabethan embroidery to Forties furnishing, a walk through the Hall is always an enjoyable experience.
Bess of Hardwick
A remarkable house for a remarkable woman. Bess of Hardwick, a formidable and talented woman, was responsible for the creation of both Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House. Her four marriages led to her becoming the Countess of Shrewsbury and one of the richest women in Elizabethan England.
More glass than wall
Bess enlisted the help of Robert Smythson to design Hardwick Hall. This in itself was pretty radical but the building design was also a bold step exploring new ideas of the time. Large glazed windows adorn the Hall and inside the three floors take you on something of a magical mystery tour, with elaborate rooms designed to wow.
Weaving a magical story
Hardwick Hall is home to one of the finest collections of Elizabethan tapestries and embroderies in Europe including the Gideon tapestries and Noble Women embroidered wall hangings. Almost every room in the Hall proudly displays tapestry and embroidery work on the walls.
Unravelling the past
With its collection of fragile textiles, Hardwick has its work cut out when it comes to conservation and it's not just tapestries that make up the collection. We care for an extensive collection of textiles, furniture, paintings, ceramics and other decorative objects.
Every year work continues to conserve another wonderful part of the collection and by visiting Hardwick you're helping to support this important work.
In the old kitchen you can discover more about the life and work of Hardwick's servants. When a visitor was exploring Hardwick Hall and came across a Victorian photograph of the servants of Hardwick, she pointed out from the group, Sarah Clarke, her grandmother. From there, the photograph previously dated around the early twentieth century, was able to be more accurately dated to around 1893. Discover in the old kitchens how this paved the way to unearthing more information about the servants at Hardwick.