{castle life} Old Hardwick Hall

Part two of our English Heritage Double Feature Sunday was Hardwick Old Hall. This is after going to lunch in Bolsover and splashing tomato sauce on my white sweater (my fault) and chocolate on my favorite pants (waiter’s fault).. at least the pants were cheap (gotta love Forever 21).

Well, hello there, Nigel (the Dragon)...

Well, hello there, Nigel (the Dragon)…

Funny thing about Hardwick Hall.. there are actually two sites located on the grounds. The Old Hardwick Hall, which is part of English Heritage, and so we get free entry.. and the new Hardwick Hall and Gardens, which was only built three years later than the old hall, but is maintained by the National Trust.. and cost £10 each to get in (that’s with our English Heritage discount… we passed on this one).


Funny story about the Old vs New Hall … Both were built/comissioned by Elizabeth Talbot, better known as Bess of Hardwick. Typical of rich people (yesterday, today, and tomorrow), she had the “old” hall built in all it’s extravagant glory, with it’s decorative plaster-work over the fireplaces, and as soon as it was done, she was tired of it and wanted something better. So she built the new hall right next door.. she didn’t even venture across her property so that there would be some distance between the two. As a result, the old hall fell into disrepair, while the new hall was maintained and still resembles what it would have been like back in her time (which also means that it’s not as cool). We also noticed that it’s smaller.. I guess Bess was not a believer of the phrase “bigger is better”.


Side note.. Elizabeth Talbot is the mother of Sir Charles Cavendish, and grandmother of William Cavendish, whom we met earlier over at Bolsover Castle (part one of the English Heritage double feature Sunday).

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