Thursday, 19 February 2015

Out and about in Derbyshire

We visited Hannah earlier this week, and spent the day at Hardwick Hall yesterday.

The Hall was home to Bess of Hardwick, one of the wealthiest women in Tudor England.  She built the Old Hall, and only three  years after it was complete started on the New Hall.  Today the Old Hall stands a ruin, it is the New Hall that remains complete.

The Old Hall can be seen from the M1 as you drive north just before Chesterfield, English Heritage manage it and you can ascend to the second floor, where the state rooms would have been, to enjoy amazing views over the valley below.

Some of the plaster fireplaces and wall decorations are still in place: the best are to be seen on the walls of the Great West Chamber, which would have been used in the evening as the setting sun lit the room.

The New Hall is managed by the National Trust, and some of the furniture that was originally in the Old Hall is now to be found within its walls.  The building is unusual as it was not really used as a family home for long after it was built, the Duke of Devonshire inhertited it, but preferred Chatsworth to be home, the Hall was used for holidays or hunting. Because of this, the Hall is little changed since Elizabethan times, unlike many country houses which were later modernised in the Georgian style.

Inside, the decorated plaster walls that were apparent in the Old Hall are here in the New, just on a greater scale, and the Long Gallery is fantastic to see.

The chairs under the canopy came originally from the State rooms of the Old Hall.

The house was last inhabited by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire into the mid 20th century, and then passed into the hands of the National Trust.

A fantastic place to visit!

1 comment:

Virginia said...

Another favourite of ours - did you realise that Hardwick New Hall - doubles as Malfoy Manor in the Harry Potter films? It's not something that is mentioned in any of the literature but I've got a book on filming locations and came across this one. Hubby had wanted to visit it for an age, it was only when we got the film link that we managed to go (I was a bit more enthusiastic LOL).