AULT-HUCKNALL, Derbyshire - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"AULT-HUCKNALL, a parish in the hundred of Scarsdale, in the county of Derby, 6½ miles to the S.E. of Chesterfield, its post town, and 5½ N.W. of Mansfield. It is situated in a pleasant country, and contains the hamlets of Rowthorne, Stainsby, Hardwick, Harstoft, and Astwith. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield, of the value of £168, in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire, who is lord of the manor. The church contains a monument to Anne, first Countess of Devonshire, who died in 1598, and also one in memory of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who died herein 1679.

In this parish is Hardwick Hall, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, a fine old mansion in the Elizabethan style, erected in 1570 by Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury. In its architecture, furniture, and decorations, which have been carefully preserved in their original condition, we have as interesting a picture of the taste and manners of the old time which produced it as can be wished. It stands on the summit of a lofty ridge, from which the view over the surrounding country is very extensive, and in a fine park abounding in grand old oaks. A more than private or family interest attaches to this mansion, as one of the residences of Mary, Queen of Scots, while in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury.

The principal apartments are the hall, which is tapestried, and now adorned with the statue of Mary, by Westmacott; the chapel, also hung with tapestry; the dining-room, the mantel-piece of which is carved and bears a pious inscription; the spacious state-room, tapestried and canopied; the great picture gallery, which runs along the whole eastern front, 116 feet in length, with 18 deep bay windows, and containing a very large and curious collection of portraits, many of them being of eminent and royal persons. Among them are those of Queen Elizabeth and her great rival Mary, Richard III., James V., Lady Jane Grey, Cardinal Pole, Burleigh, &c. There is also the room which was appropriated to the captive queen, her bed, and embroidery, sacredly preserved.

The number and size of the windows in this hall have given rise to the proverbial expression, "Hardwick Hall, more window than wall". Not far off are some remains of a much more ancient hall, in which Cardinal Wolsey reposed for one night when on his way to Leicester Abbey."

"HARDWICK PARK, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, in the parish of Ault Hucknall, county Derby, 6 miles S.E. of Chesterfield. It was built by Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, between 1568 and 1584, and is remarkable for the number and size of its windows, which has given rise to the saying, "Hardwick Hall, more window than wall". Here Mary Queen of Scots lived while in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and her room is still preserved, with her bed and embroidery.

The picture gallery is 116 feet in length, containing near 200 portraits, including Burleigh, Sir R. Cecil, Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, in the tenth year of her captivity, of whom there is also a statue by Westmacott; Darnley, Sir Thomas More, Lady Jane Grey, Bishop Gardner, Pole, James V. of Scotland, Sir Thomas Wyatt, and others. The state-room and chapel are also deserving of notice for their tapestry, and the dining-room for its carved mantelpiece."

"ROWTHORNE, a hamlet in the parish of Ault-Hucknall, county Derby, 7 miles N.E. of Alfreton."

"STAINSBY, a township in the parish of Ault-Hucknall, hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby, 5½ miles S.E. of Chesterfield."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin HINSON ©2003]