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Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire. Photo by Richard Croft

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Harlaxton Manor is a masterpiece of Victorian ?Jacobethan? architecture and one of the best kept secrets in Britain, open to the public for just 6 hours on one day a year.
Built by the modestly wealthy eccentric bachelor Gregory Gregory (1786-1854), determined to outdo his neighbour The Duke of Rutland at nearby Belvoir Castle, he devoted his life and fortune to its construction. Work began in 1832 in an Elizabethan revival style under the direction of Anthony Salvin, though Gregory soon replaced Salvin with William Burn and building continued in a Jacobean revival Baroque style. The reclusive Gregory died in 1854 having spent over £200,000, before his fantasy palace was completed. The house passed through various Gregory descendants until 1937 when Violet Van de Elst, an equally eccentric cosmetic tycoon bought it and saved it from demolition. From a humble beginning as the daughter of a coal porter and a washerwoman, she invented a brushless shaving cream and amassed a fortune that enabled her to buy Harlaxton Manor. Her vehement opposition to capital punishment drained her resources through obsessive litigation and she sold the house to the Jesuits, who in turn sold it to Stanford University and later The University of Evansville, Indiana, USA, now its conscientious custodians.
The exterior has an almost fairytale appearance and the lavish decoration of the principal interior rooms is a wonder to behold .... Baroque, Elizabethan, Louis XIV and Rococco, all lovingly restored and maintained by the University of Evansville.
Explanation with photo

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sueswan

Thank you Joyce, I'm really glad you enjoyed this set. Have a look at the website you'll find views of the interior which I think you would find interesting...Sue

cakes1947

I can't express how gorgeous this is. I really love it and would love to roam it's halls. The architect was brilliant. I enjoyed reading your snippet. Thanks again Sue!! :)))))))))
(time, 7:31)

sueswan

I suppose you'd have to be eccentric to own and live in such a place. I saw pictures of the interior and it's very grand. I think the conservatory was built the same time, it looks as though it belongs to the same time period.
Thanks 48 and Denise...Sue

481110

fairy-tale like indeed ... I, too, noticed what looks to be a conservatory on the right. It seems to fit in. Grounds well maintained and add to the experience. Thanks Sue - enjoyed the snippet and the puzzle.

bentleyd

I loved the story Sue:-) Mish mash of different styles and very elaborate:-))I presume the add on on the right has been made by the University. Thank you very much.......very interesting:-))

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