Harlaxton Manor

Photos of Harlaxton Manor

Harlaxton Manor, Grantham UK
A State Room wedding at Harlaxton Manor
A view of the outside of Harlaxton Manor including the Orangery
A view of the outside of Harlaxton Manor

Harlaxton Manor is owned by the University of Evansville in the USA but can be booked for weddings and celebrations too.

You can buy tickets to visit their wonderful gardens via their website.

History of Harlaxton Manor

Harlaxton Manor would not be what it is today without the creativity, dedication and attention to detail of Gregory Gregory, a wealthy Nottinghamshire businessman who made his fortune in the coal industry.

Born Gregory Williams in 1753 before changing his name to William Gregory Williams upon inheriting his grandmother’s family estate, he changed his name to Gregory Gregory after inheriting estates from his father and his uncle.

Gregory Gregory owned property in the Nottingham area, which included coal mines and he also owned holdings in various canal and railway companies. After serving as a Major and then Lieutenant Colonel in the second or Southwell Regiment of the Local Militia, he became a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society as well as the Zoological Society of London, and he also became the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire.

In the 1820s, Gregory Gregory worked in British embassies overseas during which time he purchased a great deal of art and sold some of his land with a view to building a palatial mansion in Lincolnshire.

Harlaxton Manor is a building that takes its inspiration from many of the grandest country houses of Elizabethan England. In 1831, the architect Anthony Salvin was commissioned by Gregory Gregory to build his new manor house, with work commencing in 1832.

However, by 1838, Salvin was replaced by architect William Burn who is credited for building the service wings and courtyards, with their distinctive Tudor arches. However, both architects were subject to the overarching vision of Gregory Gregory who was keenly involved throughout the construction of the manor.

Gregory formulated his vision for Harlaxton by visiting Bramshill, Hardwick, Hatfield, Knole, Burghley, Wollaton, Kirby, Longleat and Temple Newsham to produce a neo-Elizabethan compendium of all these houses. This is remarkable, but what makes Harlaxton unique was his brilliant idea “that Elizabethan and Jacobean could be fused with Baroque”.

After Gregory Gregory died in 1860, the manor passed through several owners and during the First World War, the grounds were used to train soldiers in trench warfare.

Abandoned by 1935, Harlaxton Manor was purchased two years later by Violet Van der Elst, a businesswoman and inventor. Mrs Van der Elst was an entrepreneur who developed the first brushless shaving cream, and she was a passionate campaigner against against capital punishment. She restored the house and had it wired for electricity.

During the Second World War, the manor was requisitioned and used as the officers’ mess for RAF Harlaxton nearby before housing the 1st Battalion of the British Airborne Division. The estate was returned to Mrs Van Der Elst in 1943 who sold it five years later to the The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), who used it as a novitiate.

In 1965, the Jesuits leased the manor to Stanford University based in California, making it the first American university campus in Great Britain.

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