More pictures under the jump:-
At the entrance hall we were meet by Elizabeth of Shrewsbury herself.
If you do visit Hardwick I highly recommend you listen to the talk, it gives you plenty of information about the history of the building and Bess' life, and it's all done in character. The actress was brilliant, and my absolute highlight of the trip. I wish there had been more people in costume around the house, as it really brings the history to life and they are always really knowledgeable.
If you like this sort of thing I'd recommend you visit Dover Castle, when I went I had a long conversations with the King and he didn't even break role when I asked about becoming a camp follower.
|Portrait of Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury |
also known as Bess of Hardwick
The current Queen of England is a decent of Bess.
The entrance hall and many of the portraits in Harwick are from Bess' time. I didn't get any pictures, but if you go have a look at the staircase, medieval tapestries have been cut up to decorate them.
Hardwick Hall was occupied up to the 1950s, by Evelyn, Duchess of Devonshire. This photos show what it would have looked like in her day.
|formal dinning room|
|small bed chamber|
|dinning room piano|
One of my favourite rooms to go in is the kitchens, the only downside is everyone else likes them too so they're always packed. There was various hands-on activities available, including napkin folding and making rag-rugs.
These displays were part of a local flower competition, the brief to make an arrangement that reflected the purpose of the room, in this case food preparation.
Hardwick Hall also has a long running exhibition called 'A Stitch in Time' all about embroidery, it's not my interest, but would be a great place to take your Nan.
We must have spent a good 4-5 hours at Hardwick Hall, so it is definitely worth the money, £14.00 for adults, £7.00 for children and of course National Trust members (like me) get in for free.