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; this was pretty radical in itself 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 is home to one of the finest collections of Elizabethan tapestries in Europe. 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 visting 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. Learn about 'an awe-inspiring little woman dressed in black' and the 'odd man' who lit the house.