Hardwick Hall: Part Two of my 2016 Jolly with additional photos

               Harwick Hall – part two.

At the end of 2016 I participated in several ‘jollies’ to some of the most amazing houses and beauty spots in England, and I’ve shared my experiences, as I often do, with visitors here.

If you are new here and think you might enjoy reading about and seeing photos of some of the wonderful places around England I’ve visited since I started this blog over 5 years ago, do take some time to go to Menu/blog, then scroll down, and you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied on a rainy day.

You’ll also find posts about my writing and interviews with my Guest Authors, which I feature from time to time. Feel free to nose around.  

Bess Hardwick was over sixty when she started building the house which survived virtually unchanged for more than four centuries.

She had an army of builders – men and women – working on the building. Masons, wallers, paviours, carpenters, lathmakers, sawyers, and slaters, and plasterers, plumbers, glaziers – she purchased a glazing company and made her own glass, and eventually supplied glass for many other important houses -smiths, painters, mat-makers and embroiderers – do check out the tapestries. Awesome.           

Materials used in the house include sandstone, limestone and lead, glass, alabaster, timber and Derbyshire blackstone, and were all locally sourced.


Bess owned many of the coal mines and quarries surrounding Hardwick, and men from her mines provided some of the labour.

There are still stonemasons working at Hardwick today, using stone from the park that yielded ashlar blocks used for the house for over 400 years.

Great Hall Ground Floor

The ceilings are so beautiful, and the workmanship amazing. I got a crick in my neck looking up for so long.  

Three craftsmen in particular – plasterer Abraham Smith, stone carver, Thomas Accres and painter John Ballechouse – were responsible for much of the interior decoration.

The Hardwick household was supplied with milk, cheese, butter and cream from the estate diary, fish came from the stewponds, meat from the cattle grown fat on the estate land and slaughtered and butchered in the Stableyard.

There were deer in the park for sport and for food, and there was a supply of fruit from the orchards.  


Long Gallery Second Floor

There were hen houses, with fowl, producing eggs and meat for the kitchen. sheep grazed in the orchards and their fleeces used to make garments and yarn, and there was honey from their bees and beeswax too for the hundreds of candles the house used.







If you get chance to visit Hardwick Hall, do go. I shall post part three as soon as I can get the photos organised.

It is a fascinating house, the history is gripping and Bess of Hardwick was a woman way before her time.

Part one of this series can be found here: http://wp.me/p2dg55-2YW

There is mobility parking in the main car park. A buggy service is available. Adapted toilets are in the Stableyard and Park Centre. There is wheelchair access to the ground floor hall and Lady Spencer’s walk. Stairs to 2nd and 3rd floors, with resting benches and chairs. Be aware that there is deep water and height drops around the estate. The Hall is open from 13th Feb until 30th Oct, 11am to 5pm, Weds to Sun. The park closes at dusk if earlier.

Telephone: 01246 850430            Email: hardwick@nationaltrust.org.uk

If this has interested you do please explore some of my other ‘jollies,’ to gardens, villages, ruins, cathedrals, churches and great houses.

As ever do let me know if you have enjoyed this ‘jolly.’ Your comments are always most welcome.

All photographs (c) Jane Risdon 2017 All Rights Reserved.


    • Oh you are a star, thanks so much for this, much appreciated. I post about all my jollies as I take far too many photos and find out so much info I need to do something with it. Hope you enjoyed parts 1&2 as well. Glad you had an enjoyable time there when you visited. – yes Bess was indeed one hell of a lady! Do come again. xx


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