Hardwick  Derbyshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hardwick like this:

HARDWICK HALL, a seat of the Duke of Devonshire, in Ault-Hucknall parish, Derby; near the boundary with Notts, 4½ miles E of Wingfield r. station, and 6½ SE of Chesterfield. A previous hall, now a ruin, stands adjacent; retains several rooms in a tolerably good state, adorned with very interesting specimens of pargetting; and was the birth-place of Elizabeth Hardwick, heiress of the Hardwick family, and commonly known as "Bess of Hardwick." That lady married, first, Robert Bailey of Bailey; then Sir William Cavendish. ...

ancestor of the present Duke of Devonshire; then Sir William St. Loe; then George, Earl of Shrewsbury, whom she survived seventeen years; and she was one of the most remarkable characters in the entire female peerage. The present hall was founded by her, in 1590; and it is surmounted by a curious open-work parapet, embracing frequent repetitions of her initials E. S., and having her arms pierced in the stone-work. It stands on a bold height, overlooking a fine park, and commanding a rich view over portions of Derbyshire and Notts; it presents a most imposing appearance, from at once its magnitude, its loftiness, and its symmetry; it has windows so numerous and large as to have occasioned a popular saying, "Hardwick Hall, more window than wall;" it is surmounted by six towers; and, both as to its architecture and as to the furniture which it contains, it is a perfect specimen of a Tudor mansion. Mary Queen of Scots is commonly said to have been imprisoned in it; but though she may have been occasionally in the old hall, and though she used furniture at Chatsworth which was removed hither, and is preserved in what are called her apartments, she could not have been in the present mansion, for the good reason that it was not founded till three years after her death. The great hall in it, however, has a beautiful statue of her, by Westmacott; the picture gallery, occupying most of the E front, and measuring 170 feet in length, 22 in width, and 26 in height, contains portraits of her and of Queen Elizabeth, and upwards of 170 other portraits, chiefly of the Devonshire family and its connections; and the other rooms, together with the chapel, are fitted up in a costly and antique style, and hung with curiously-wrought tapestry.

Hardwick through time

Hardwick is now part of Bolsover district. Click here for graphs and data of how Bolsover has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Hardwick itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hardwick, in Bolsover and Derbyshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 03rd December 2021

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