Discover the Hall at Hardwick

View of Hardwick Hall from the gatehouse

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.

Portrait of Bess of Hardwick
Portait of Bess of Hardwick in older age
Portrait of Bess of Hardwick

More glass than wall

Bess enlisted the help of Robert Smythson to design Hardwick. 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.

The Long Gallery at Hardwick
The Long Gallery at Hardwick
The Long Gallery at Hardwick


Weaving a magical story

Hardwick 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. 

Visitors admire tapestries at Hardwick Hall
Visitors admire tapestries at Hardwick Hall
Visitors admire tapestries at Hardwick Hall


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. Look out for special behind the scenes tours to find out more. 

The so-called 'Sea-Dog Table' after Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, c.1575 / NT 1127744
Walnut table inlaid with various woods and marbles, Hardwick Hall
The so-called 'Sea-Dog Table' after Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, c.1575 / NT 1127744

Below stairs

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.

When is the Hall open?

For full details of opening times click here. The Hall is open from 11am to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday. Our Below Stairs area of the Hall is open 7 days a week and currently displays the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition.