Around the 1800s, British law made it difficult for married women to own property, but THEY DID! Women have been second class citizens throughout much of the known world, but somehow they managed to triumph. For example, not many tourists visit the British Isles without walking around and taking pictures of magnificent historical homes.
This magnificent home was built by Elizabeth Talbot, the countess of Shrewsbury. She was called Bess and she was born into a gentry family in Derbyshire. Bess married four times and the property left to her by all four husbands made her the richest woman in England.
She oversaw the building of Chatsworth Hall from about 1550 onwards, and later built not one, but two, grand houses at Hardwick. Soon after finishing the Old Hall in 1591, she began to build the adjacent New Hall, a vast house known for its glittering glass façade and unusual floor plan. Visitors should look out for Bess’s initials “ES”, highlighted for posterity in parapets of the towers and elsewhere in the house.