Haunted Derbyshire – part 3

This five part mini-series will look at some of the haunted spots within our county borders.  From stately homes to run down terraces, waterfalls to woodlands, mines and quarries, there are plenty of ghostly goings-on to delight and disturb.

Part 3 of Haunted Derbyshire goes to Derbyshire’s famous Hardwick Hall.  Home to the formidable Bess of Hardwick.  Bess was first betrothed at the age of 12, her husband-to-be dying a year later and Bess going on to marry Sir William Cavendish, with whom she had children.  After 8 years of marriage, Sir William died and Bess returned to the court of Queen Elizabeth, finding another husband in Sir William St Loe.  After his death, her fourth marriage was to Earl George Talbot, marrying two of her children to the Earls children.  In 1583 they separated and Bess returned to her birthplace and childhood home, the hall at Hardwick.  She began work on a new hall, yards from the old, and second to the Quenn Elizabeth of England, was probably the most powerful and influential woman of the Elizabethan era.

Her ghost is said to return to Hardwick, with the housekeeper having seen and spoken to the ghost of Bess in the rooms which had been her private apartments.  a lady dressed in blue wanders around the building, phantom aromas, often of citrus and exotic fruits predominate.

A ghost cat is said to favour the needlework room and the chapel landing, but the room with the most activity is the Blue Bedroom, in which the staff have to frequently remake the antique bed as a depression appears on the covers as if someone had slept there.

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