Hardwick Old Hall was the house Bess built to replace her ancestral medieval manor house in Derbyshire - that was too humble for a countess of her standing and wealth. She moved there after leaving Chatsworth when her fourth marriage - to George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury - broke down. The Old Hall was a grand house, built to impress.
Four storeys high, it also had walkways on the roofs for viewing the countryside around.
It is owned by English Heritage, and although it is a shell, there are stairs and a viewing platform, and plenty of info boards. The plasterwork overmantels can still be seen.
|Looking up four floors|
|A kitchen fireplace|
|Some of the plasterwork|
|I wouldn't mind that view|
|The Hill Great Chamber, well lit, with classical detail and fine views.|
|The "Forest" Chamber - see the decor. A richly furnished room for formal occasions and entertainments.|
For more information, check this link.
We finished our visit with a walk to the fish ponds at the bottom of the hill.