Hardwick Hall

Year 10 GCSE History Visit on 19 June 2024

After doing preliminary work and enduring a 90-minute coach ride, we finally arrived at Hardwick Hall. My first impression was that the building was huge and had many windows; in fact, at the time, it was described as having “more glass than wall”. After a brief tour, where we saw luxurious tapestries and antique furniture, we attended a talk about Bess of Hardwick, the first owner of Hardwick Hall- and I must say that the history behind the building is fascinating. Then, we took a tour of the Old Hall, which is now in ruin, and walked around in the gardens. The whole experience showcased the wealth and status of Bess of Hardwick. (Suhban Alam, 10G)

I found the Hardwick Trip very interesting because I had the opportunity to see a house that was roughly 500 years old and was built for Bess of Hardwick. I also found the trip informative because we learnt about the history of Hardwick Hall. It was built for Bess of Hardwick because she wanted to show her wealth and power, which the house symbolised through its location and the letters ‘E’ and ‘S’ (Elizabeth Shrewsbury) that stand on top of the house. (Hamza Bashe, 10A)

The visit to Hardwick Hall was fascinating. The house allowed us to step into the shoes of people living in the 16th century, being able to experience their ideas of fashion and even architecture. We discovered that Hardwick Hall was designed by one of the earliest British architects, Robert Smythson, who implemented Renaissance designs of symmetry into the grand mansion. Also, the owner of the house, Bess of Hardwick, used the house as a show of her incredible wealth, using expensive glass panes formed from smaller pieces of glass and having elaborate patterns of her title ‘ES’ to constantly boast her wealth. The trip will also be useful for our upcoming exams for GCSE History and gets us very close to experiencing what life was like in the 16th century. (George Lin, 10W)

Hardwick Hall was such a wonderful educational experience, we learnt all about Bess of Hardwick and had a talk that was around 15 minutes explaining a lot of things about her life. The tapestries in the house are exceptional and lovely to look at. There are over 40 rooms, and each one is filled with its own unique history. The gardens are peaceful and well maintained, however, the same can’t be said for the Old Hall, which is in ruins, but despite this, it still has an amazing view at the top. Overall, I really enjoyed Hardwick Hall and would say that it was a thought-provoking visit. (Inderveer Singh, 10G)

Click here to view more photos in the gallery.