Harlaxton Manor was built in the 1830s for Gregory Gregory, a wealthy Nottinghamshire businessman, to replace the original Elizabethan Manor House in Harlaxton Village. Having travelled throughout England and Europe seeking inspiration, ideas and indeed artefacts for this huge house, Gregory employed Anthony Salvin as architect and Harlaxton Manor must be regarded as Salvin's masterpiece. Built in Ancaster stone, it is an exuberant merging of Gothic, Jacobethan and Baroque styles creating an unforgettable and dramatic impact.
Owner and architect had many differences of opinion and Salvin, having completed the exterior of the main building, was replaced by William Burn who is thought responsible for much of the interior.
Few houses in the country can match the splendid approach to Harlaxton. A straight mile long drive across a bridge, under a gatehouse, past 'the pyrotechnic display of the forecourt gates and screen' to Salvin's towering facade whether by day or night when the building is floodlit, is in itself a memorable, experience.
The house is now owned by the University of Evansville, Indiana, USA, and is used as their British Campus.
GARDENS & GROUNDS
The formal gardens at Harlaxton Manor were created as an integral feature of the stately home built by Gregory Gregory. In the context of the times, surrounding garden spaces and features provided recreation, a connection to nature, possibilities for social interaction, and an appreciation of moods set by varying types of contrived and natural outdoor spaces. More than 150 years later, the essential purpose of the Gardens remains unchanged.
Highlights of the Gardens include French-style terraces, an Italian Garden, a Dutch ornamental canal, and English landscape walks. The Conservatory is virtually unique in design and use of architectural elements. The 6.5 acre walled garden is one of the largest in Britain.
The design of the Gardens and its structures are as much a mystery as that of the House. While it is almost certain that Anthony Salvin, Gregory’s first architect, designed the Gatehouse, it is more likely that William Burn, the second architect, designed most of the Garden structures.
Today the Gardens provide restful outdoor space for residents and visitors alike.