On one of the days, Mum, Dad and I chose to go somewhere that I've not been for a while, and since I had my National Trust card, I thought it might be nice to go in the house instead of just the gardens for a change.
It seems as though Hardwick Hall grounds have undergone a bit of redevelopment since I was last there. The cafe has been perked up and serves a delicious range of food - try the Huntsman's Pie if you get chance - delicious! There is heaps of seating inside and out, so you could also take a picnic if you wished. Also some really beautiful gardens to walk through and relax in.
|Much quieter than the front view of the house...|
the side view from the gardens
I was so happily surprised that we decided to go inside the house as well. From the moment you walk in, there are some incredible pieces of embroidery and tapestry, which I wasn't expecting at all. Bess of Hardwick must have been one heck of a collector, because it is on almost every wall, and I imagine that was one way to make the stone walls feel a bit more welcoming and homely. As an added bonus, there was an exhibition on 'Threads of Time' - showcasing 16th century items such as needlework and furniture.
Please find below some photos of some of the things on display - but if you are able to visit in person, I highly recommend doing so - it's wonderful to be able to get up close to such amazing pieces of needlework (and feel completely inadequate with all of my own pieces given the scale of some of theirs!)
Some of the tapestries are also being restored - a hugely costly undertaking but incredible to see the difference and clarity in those which already have been.
|Needlework Cushion cover: Silk on fine linen|
Centre in tent stitch, border in cross stitch
Embroidered whilst Bess was married to
George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury
|The Muniment Room - pretty impressive!!|
These contained legal documents showing
who owned which pieces of land.
|The Tobit Table Carpet which shows via embroidery |
the story of Tobit as told in the Old Testament.
(the bare pieces are either missing
or too fragile for conservation)
|Detail in the Tobit Table Carpet|
|The High Great Chamber where guests |
would have been greeted
|Gujarati floor cloth, on display only for one week|
|One of the restored tapestries|
|At the end, if your mother pushes you into it,|
you get to dress up like this.