Harlaxton is both a village and a parish. The parish is about 108 miles north of London and lies about three miles southwest of Grantham on the old Melton Mowbray road (now the A607). The parish itself is bounded on the north by Barrowby and Grantham parishes, to the west by Denton, on the south by Stroxton. The parish covers about 2,700 acres.
The village of Harlaxton is about a half mile south of the Grantham and Nottingham Canal, once a vital part of village commerce. A bridge now crosses the canal to connect Harlaxton to Barrowby. If you are planning a visit:
It is probably easiest to take the A607 southwest off the A1 Motorway for about two miles.
There are monuments and brasses of the DE LIGNE family in the Anglican church dating to 1682 and to the STROOD family in 1498. The GREGORY family, heirs to the DE LIGNE line, are also evident, with items dating to the 1800's.
In 1740, an urn containing burnt bones and Roman coins was found in the parish.
John of Gaunt had a hunting seat here. A local plowman unearthed a brass pot which contained a gold and jeweled helmet and it was immediately assumed to be John's. The helmet was presented to Catherine, dowager queen of Henry VIII, who deposited it in the royal cabinet at Madrid.
A Flower Show is held annually, usually in August, at St. Mary and St. Peter's Church.
The Gregory Arms Public House dates back to the 19th century. The parish Squire did not like to see his workers drinking on Sunday, so he moved the pub. to just north of the village and restricted the pub's license to a six-day-a-week certificate. Today they are a Grade II building listed by British Heritage and they operate seven days a week.
Kate JEWELL has a photograph of The Gregory Arms on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2005.
This is a nice place to ask about your ancestors These are the names associated with the inn in various directories:
The original Harlaxton Manor was an ancient structure, built in the valley next to the village and was purchased by the DE LIGNE family around 1475. It was demolished in 1857 by Gregory GREGORY after it had sat, unoccupied, since about 1780.
A new Harlaxton Manor was built in 1837-45 in the Jacobean style from local stone. The manor boasted 100 bedrooms. The Baron's Hall is 75 feet long and 30 feet high, with a lovely marble floor and ornamented with oak wainscotting. From the new Manor House one can see Belvoir Castle and the Vale off to the west.
Harlaxton Manor was the seat of the PEARSON-GREGORY family in 1913.
The Manor House was allowed to fall into disrepair and was virtually derelict when purchased in 1937 by Mrs. Violet VAN DER ELST, a self-made successful busineswoman who made her fortune by developing and selling Shavex, the first brushless shaving cream. She renamed the property "Grantham Castle". She put a great deal of her fortune into restoring the manor and into her fight against capital punishment. A year after capital punishment was banned in the Kingdom, she died penniless.
Harlaxton Manor is now owned by the University of Evansville, Indiana, USA, and is used as their British campus as Harlaxton College.
The name derives from the Old English Herelaf+tun, meaning "estate or farm of Herelaf". It appears as Herlavestune in the 1086 Domesday Book. A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991.
Bastardy cases would be heard at the Spittlegate petty session hearings.
In 1632 John USHER of the Isle of Ely deposited £10 so that the interest could aid the poor of the parish. In 1701 Edward DE LIGNE did the same. In 1730, Cadwallader GLYNNE left an annuity of £5 to be distributed to the poor as money (normally the poor would receive coal or food from such charities). In 1742 Cassandra BEAUMONT gave £10, the yearly interest to be laid out in books.
A timbered school was first built here in the 1600's.
A Public Elementary School was rebuilt here in 1871 and was attended by 83 in 1913. The school is currently located on New Beacon Road, NG31 9LJ, telephone: 01476 564417. There is a Harlaxton school web site, but it contains little useful information.