Hardwick Hall Elizabethan mansion built by Bess of Hardwick. Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
The Peak District covers much of Derbyshire and parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. There are numerous interesting towns such as Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton, Leek, Matlock and Wirksworth, plus many enchanting villages
Hardwick Hall and Park
Her fourth husband was the Earl of Shrewsbury, one of the richest and most powerful of the English nobles of the time - for many years the Shrewsburys were responsible for the guardianship of Mary Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at nearby Chatsworth.
The dynasty created by Bess, primarily from the four children of her second marriage - to Sir William Cavendish - included many powerful descendants including the Dukes of Devonshire, Newcastle, Portland and Kingston. At the time Hardwick Hall was built she was probably one of the wealthiest people in England.
The house itself stands in a commanding position overlooking the surrounding countryside next to the ruins of Hardwick Old Hall. The original Old Hall may have dated from the 14th century,
With its massive windows and fine proportions it is an impressive statement of the power and wealth of its creator who made sure the statement was made quite clear by having her initials ES carved on stone letters at the head of the towers! The hall was notable for the size of its windows and the amount of glass used, which was far more than in similar houses of the period.
The house stands within a country park containing rare breeds of cattle and sheep and the walled and enclosed gardens around the house include a herb garden, orchard and decorative gardens. There is a cafe and National Trust gift shop.
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How to get there
Hardwick Hall lies to the East of the M1, east of Chesterfield. From Chesterfield take the A617 to the M1 and Mansfield. At the M1 roundabout go right round the roundabout and take the last exit. From there the Hall is signposted. Car parking costs £4 per vehicle - free to NT members.
By Bus: There is no bus to Hardwick Hall, but the 96 bus from Chesterfield goes to Hardstoft, west of the entrance to the park. From there it is a pleasant 2 km walk (mostly uphill) to the Hall. The Sheffield/Chesterfield-Nottingham 737 and 747 buses also go near - get off at Glapwell - from there it is a 2km walk though the park.
By Train: The nearest railway station is in Chesterfield (trains from Sheffield and London).
When is it open?
The House itself is open Wednesdays - Sundays from 11.00 pm to 5.00 pm from 11th February to 30th October, and from 10.30am - 3.30pm between 26th November - 18th December. (It is also open BH Mondays).
Gardens open 10.00am to 5.00pm from November to February and from 10.00am to 6pm from March to October.
Grounds open daily all year 8.30 am - 6.00pm.
The Old Hall is managed by English Heritage and is open:
25th March - 30th Sept: Wed - Sun and Bank Holidays 10:00 - 18:00
31st Oct - 24th March: Weekends 10:00 - 16:00 - but open daily 13th-17th Feb.
What does it cost?
Gift Aid Admission for whole property - (Standard Admission prices in brackets):
Adult £15.15 (£13.76)/ Child £7.60(£6.88)/ Family £37.90(£34.40)
Adult £7.60(£6.88) / Child £3.80 (£3.44), Family £19.00 (£17.20). Car Parking £2.00 - free to NT members.
Party and School arrangements - Check with National Trust on 01246 850430
Hardwick Old Hall is in the care of English Heritage. Ticket prices are:
Adult £6.60, Concession £5.90, Child £4.00, Family £17.20.
Joint tickets for Hardwick Hall and Hardwick Old Hall:
Adult: £19.10, Child: £10.15, Family: £48.35 (no gift aid for these)
English Heritage members free and NT members free
Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary. See this link for more information on prices and opening
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