Experience the magnificent gardens, spectacular architecture, and beautiful woodland of Harlaxton Manor.
Constructed in 1831, Harlaxton Manor is truly unique, combining Jacobean, Elizabethan, and Baroque styles to create a beautiful and awe-inspiring historic house and gardens.
Conservation, sustainability, learning, and internationalism are at the heart of Harlaxton Manor’s identity. As well as being open to visitors and being a spectacular wedding and events venue, Harlaxton Manor is an overseas college of the University of Evansville, Indiana where students learn and study in an inspirational setting.
Opening seasonally for the first time in 190 years, we welcome you to explore the manor, wander its magnificent gardens, celebrate your wedding, or enjoy the breathtaking views and scenery.
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.
University of Evansville
Since 1970, Harlaxton Manor has been the home to Harlaxton College, part of the University of Evansville in Indiana, USA.
After purchasing Harlaxton Manor in 1978, University of Evansville trustee, Dr William Ridgway gave it as a gift to the university in 1986, enabling its continued use as an overseas study centre to give students the chance to study and live at Harlaxton College for a semester abroad.
During the regular academic year, the College hosts over 300 students from the University of Evansville and many other colleges and universities from across the USA. During the summer, the College hosts another 1,000+ people attending summer schools, short courses, and conferences.
Studying at Harlaxton College offers students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about British life and culture in a historic setting, and the students play a key role in creating an atmosphere of creativity and innovation which inspires everything we do.
You can find out more information about Harlaxton College at harlaxton.evansville.edu.
Harlaxton Manor Today
For the first time in the 190-year history of Harlaxton Manor, we are inviting you to discover Harlaxton Manor and explore our gardens and grounds like never before.
Opening seasonally for the first time, you can now visit our historic Manor Gardens, set foot on our beautiful woodland walk and tour our spectacular historic house.
We are also opening more of our grounds for local residents and visitors to access free of charge.
As we move forward, we want you to be part of our journey, with visitors and members of our community helping to guide us.
Therefore, we would appreciate your ideas, suggestions, and feedback to make a visit to Harlaxton even more amazing and to help us support our community and care for our environmental and historic assets in the best way possible.