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Old Hall at Harwick, Hardwick Hall Country Park, Ault Hucknall, c 1990s
Keith R Clark
Clark, K R
Hardwick Hall Country Park
About this image
Text from http://pastscape.english-heritage.org.uk/ reads:
"The ruins of Hardwick Old Hall situated 200 metres south west of Hardwick New Hall. The structure of the house survives to varying degrees; the west wing survives more or less to its original height but the north face of the east wing and all but the ground floor of the centre were demolished in the 18th century to provide stone for Chatsworth House. Central to the house is the hall. The hall ran from the front to the back of the building with wings two or more rooms deep on either side. A hall of this type, in contrast with those which run along the length of one front, was an innovatory feature. The fabric of the Old Hall largely dates from between 1587 when Bess of Hardwick began to re-model the early 16th century house and 1597 when she moved to the New Hall. It was almost entirely executed in rubble walling, except for external areas of the east wing which was the last portion to be built and is faced with ashlar. There is substantial remains of decorative plasterwork by Abraham Smith. The Hardwick family had been established at Hardwick since at least the end of the 14th century and had taken their names from their place of residence. Bess bought the house in 1538 when her brother James, the former owner, died. She moved into it in 1584 when a quarrel with her fourth husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, made it the only house available to her. Bess's husband died in 1590 and with her widow's portion Bess built a bigger and more elaborate new house next to it but did not move in until October 1597. The west wing continued to be partly lived in until at least the end of the 18th century. In 1789 the Hill Great Chamber was empty but the lower rooms were still occupied by the housekeeper of the New Hall and a family. Serious degredation of the west wing set in during the early 19th century when lead was removed from the roof. Now, there is no roof and the floors that survived until 1956 were removed for safety reasons."
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.