Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
They say, that when Hardwick was completed back in 1597, it was described as “More Glass Windows than Walls”. You can certainly see why.
At the time glass was very much a luxury building material ,so such extensive use was bound to attract comment. It did of course make a comment about the owner…… Bess of Hardwick. The house was a fitting statement for the richest woman in England below Queen Elizabeth 1st.
The reputation of Bess of Hardwick is well documented as an important part of English History, should you have an interest a search engine is your solution. Her reputation was one of power, skill and four ‘well made’ marriages and her life was very full and interwoven with out history .
But back to Hardwick Hall. It should perhaps be called the new Hall as it stands in the shadows of what is known as Old Hardwick Hall. (building an ‘extension’ in one’s garden is nothing new). It is the work of Renaissance Architect Robert Smythson. Apart from those magnificent glass windows it is also the work of skilled stone masons.
A visit to Hardwick is much more than just a visit to the Hall. Located in a large farming estate and surrounded by extensive gardens it is a joy to explore and you do need the whole day to really enjoy this historic part of Derbyshire..
Bess of Hardwick didn’t live long enough to enjoy the live in her new home for long. Her death occurred in 1608, only 11 years after its completion. But like the rest of her life her funeral was by all accounts a national event. Her body was conveyed by carriage, pausing in transit in various Derbyshire Towns, to its final destination, the church of Saint Marys, Derby….now known as Derby Cathedral.
Hardwick Hall still a grand architectural masterpiece after all these years.
Maybe it is somewhere else that might fit in with your plans, for when our lives get back to a semblance of normality…… Till then
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2020