Last Lady of Hardwick

Duchess Evelyn Devonshire was the last of the Cavendish family to call Hardwick her home and now you can step into her life and experience Hardwick the way she lived it – and cared for it.

Duchess Evelyn lived through times of great change during a life that spanned from Victorian England into the Swinging Sixties. A life of passion and privacy, of care and compassion and one filled with a sense of duty to her home and family.

Now, her story and her love for Hardwick come to life around you. Discover the private life of Hardwick’s Last Lady down to the smallest of everyday details, including her bedroom, which is open for the first time this year. It has been carefully recreated so that you can see where she slept and you’ll be able to read her handwritten letters, thoughts and correspondence and understand the dramatic times of change she was witnessing.

This beautiful recreation of Duchess Evelyn's robes on display in 2016
A visitor looking at the robes at Hardwick this year

The Duchess cared deeply about Hardwick Hall and understood her role in the preservation of it for future generations. Thanks to her efforts, you can get up close to and see the ancient and complex tapestries that she lovingly restored with her own hands and witness the changes she made to the Eastern landscape of Hardwick’s grounds.

The East Court looks lovely in the early morning
The view from the House out to the East Court