National Trust: National Treasures is a private tour of a selection of The National Trust's spectacular houses, castles and abbeys. Here, the great Tudor house near Mansfield in Derbyshire: Hardwick Hall.
- An artsworld production
- An exclusive private tour of a National Trust property
- Approximately 1 hour running time
In a world of late trains, lousy weather and international sporting losses, it's easy to forget the things Britain is uniquely good at. Constitutional monarchies, for example, or Marmite, depending on your point of view. But perhaps best of all is The National Trust. Where would we be without the Trust's meticulously-preserved historic houses, beautifully-tended gardens or, (let's face it) diet-endingly delicious cream teas?
The National Trust was founded in 1895 by Victorian philanthropists. Over a century later, it now looks after over 612,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 700-plus miles of coastline and over 200 houses and gardens, monuments and mills, and churches and chapels of outstanding interest and importance.
This series, National Trust: National Treasuresexamines a selection of these properties in detail. It takes you on a private guided tour of the selected properties, charting each of their often colourful histories and revealing a selection of their art treasures - from 17th-century tapestries and Renaissance stained glass to sculptures by Henry Moore and oriental rugs - with the help of the Trust's many and varied experts. Atmospheric, lavishly-shot and with great attention to detail and illuminating explanations from members of the properties' staff, it's almost as good a good as being there - although of course, you do have to provide your own scones and jam…
Hardwick Hall, near Mansfield in Derbyshire is a spectacular Tudor treasure house, which dominates the surrounding area - a magnificent statement of the wealth and authority of its builder, Bess of Hardwick, Elizabethan England's second most powerful woman.
Designed by Robert Smythson, the house is remarkable for being almost unchanged since Bess lived here, giving a rare insight into the formality of courtly life of the Elizabethan age. There are outstanding collections of 16th-century embroidery, tapestries, furniture and portraits. Walled courtyards enclose fine gardens, orchards and a herb garden, and the surrounding country park contains rare breeds of cattle and sheep. In the grounds are the remains of Hardwick Old Hall, which Bess continued to use after her new house was built.