On Tuesday the 7th March, Mrs Harker and Mrs Nicholas accompanied the Year 11 Historians to visit Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire in order to prepare for the Historic Environment essay question in the Elizabethan England paper.

After a three-hour drive, we arrived at our destination and we were able to view the amazing Hall from the outside and its stunning landscape on the top of a hill. From here on, we met with a series of unfortunate events due to unexpected weather conditions. Whilst navigating the tiny Derbyshire lanes (and singing copious amounts of ‘Castle on the Hill’ by Ed Sheeran- which was heavily appropriate for the situation), the bus hit a heavy snowdrift and got wedged in the snow. Thankfully, accompanied by hardy Mrs. Harker and our helpful Head Teacher, we were equal to the challenge. With no other option, we drew on our ‘woman power’ and pushed the bus back onto the dry part of the road.

That evening we students worked for over three hours in the very swanky seminar room at our hotel. We prepared well for our visit the following day.

Bess of Hardwick built Hardwick Hall in 1590; she was the second most powerful woman in England after the Queen, Elizabeth I. The Hall’s design demonstrates the rise of the gentry during this period and features all the latest Renaissance designs as well as some of Bess’s own inclusions.

We spent the morning touring the grounds and observed their role as a tool to impress and persuade. In the afternoon the marvellous, Roy took us around the inside and we saw the Flemish tapestries, the stately rooms and the Long Gallery complete with its bay windows, ideal for political intrigues. To have the opportunity to explore a place so steeped in history gave the Year 11 historians an experience both unforgettable and deeply inspirational in regards to the future pursuit of such a beautiful subject.

By Sara Alef and Laila Hussain