Hall was built in 1590-9 for Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury,
also known as Bess of Hardwick. Built by Robert Smythson,
Hardwick is one of the earliest English interpretations of Italian
Renaissance architecture, and stands as one of the greatest of
all Elizabethan houses. Huge grids of glass are used to great
effect in this rectangular, turreted building, leading observers
to rhyme Hardwick Hall, more window than wall. Each
tower is crowned with a balustrade incorporating an E.S.
motif (for Elizabeth Shrewsbury), and each of the 3 main storeys
has a ceiling higher than the one below.
boasts arguably the most spectacular Elizabethan interiors in
England, with plasterwork by Abraham Smith, overmantels by Thomas
Accres, and a classical screen by William Griffin, all dating
from the 1590s.
was transferred to the National Trust from Besss descendants,
the Dukes of Devonshire, in 1959.
more information: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/place/hardwick-hall