Harlaxton Manor is an 1837 manor house in Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, England. It combines elements of Jacobean and Elizabethan architecture with symmetrical Baroque massing to create a house more exuberant than any surviving Jacobethan example.
The manor is a popular location for filming. It was used in all the exterior shots and the main hall for The Haunting, as well as interior and exterior shots in the films The Ruling Class, The Lady and the Highwayman, and The Last Days of Patton. It was also used to film the BBC drama The Young Visiters. Most recently it was used as the setting for Australian Princess.
The current mansion is the second Harlaxton Manor. The first was built on a different site during the 14th century and was used as a hunting lodge by John of Gaunt. By 1475, the de Ligne family had purchased the manor. The original house was deserted after 1780; it was inherited by Gregory Gregory, who had it torn down in 1857.
The current house was built by Gregory from 1837 to 1845 and helped usher in a renaissance of Elizabethan architecture. The original architect, Anthony Salvin, was replaced by William Burn, who is responsible for its interior detailing. Upon Gregory's death, the manor passed to his cousin George Gregory and then in 1860 to a distant relative, John Sherwin-Gregory. Upon the death of Sherwin's wife in 1892, it passed to his godson Thomas Pearson-Gregory, who allowed it to fall into disrepair.
The manor passed through several sets of disparate hands in the twentieth century. Abandoned by 1935, it was purchased two years later by Violet Van der Elst, a businesswoman and inventor, who made her money from developing the first brushless shaving cream and made her name by campaigning against capital punishment. She restored the house and arranged for it to be wired for electricity. During World War II it was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force to house a company of the 1st Airborne Division. In 1948, Harlaxton was purchased by The Society of Jesus, who used it as a novitiate. They in turn sold the manor, while retaining rights to some of the lands, to Stanford University in 1965. The University of Evansville began using the property in 1971 as its British campus, but it was owned by William Ridgway, a trustee of the university, until 1986. Immediately after the purchase, the University of Evansville began renovating the entire facility.
Presently, Harlaxton Manor is known as "The British Campus of the University of Evansville." It is an American owned and operated college which is home to a wide array of students and professors seeking a bit of adventure each academic semester. During the summer, the site is often used for various meetings as well as social gatherings such as weddings.
All students and visiting instructors live in either the manor house or its accompanying carriage house, while teaching classes or studying abroad for a semester. Classes and offices are held in many of the gilded and ornate rooms throughout building. It is not uncommon to hold lectures in the dining room for example, or to have offices in former bedrooms.
The average enrollment is around 150-200 students each semester. A majority of the student body is composed of students from the University of Evansville. From as far back as 1973, the University also welcomed students from William Jewell College . Today, there are also students from several other American colleges, including but not limited to: University of Louisville, University of Southern Indiana, Emory & Henry College, Baker University, Converse College, Eastern Illinois University, Western Kentucky University, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Catawba College, Houston Baptist University, The College of New Jersey, Texas Woman's University, Christopher Newport University, Missouri Baptist University, Ball State University, and the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.
During the summer the manor is home to the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival, which draws music students and faculty from throughout the world.
Since 1984, Harlaxton Manor has also been the site of the annual Harlaxton Symposium, an interdisciplinary symposium on medieval art, literature, and architecture.