Portraits come to life as hall volunteers take to catwalk

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RESPLENDENT in their finery, Elizabethan courtiers at Hardwick Hall, near Chesterfield, are taking part in a fashion show this weekend.

Wearing clothes they have made themselves, the group will be sharing stories with visitors to the National Trust property.

Each member of the group hand-sews their individual costume to patterns taken from the portraits at Hardwick Hall.

Visitors can find out about needlework skills of the textile volunteers, from the design of their costumes to finishing details such as more fiddly buttons and fastenings.

House and collection manager Nigel Wright said: “We are really excited about sharing some of the different stories of Hardwick through these costume days.

“It’s also an opportunity for the volunteers to show off all the hard work that goes into creating these costumes.”

For anyone wanting to follow in the footsteps of those living at Hardwick Hall there will also be an Elizabethan “strip” – an opportunity to find out about the many layers and meanings in the costumes worn when Bess herself lived at Hardwick.

The living history event ends tomorrow.

Next week, Hardwick Hall will be hosting “Going Deeper” week, during which visitors can find out more about the collections, attics and hidden doors of Hardwick.