Past, Present, and Future

Harlaxton’s Past

Gregory Gregory's vision for the manor was influenced by his own travels around England and Europe and his desire to merge multiple architectural styles into one. He had a passion for collecting art from around the world and over time amassed a large collection of furniture, tapestries, books, and other pieces.

Gregory attended Rugby School in Warkwickshire as a child and then went to Christ Church College, Oxford, but left before receiving his degree. He lived in France and Italy for three years before settling back in England. He stayed fairly active throughout his life – he received a commission as a major in the Second or Southwell Regiment of the local militia in 1809 and was then promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1813. He was also listed as a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, a fellow of the Zoological Society of London, and even acted as the sheriff of Nottinghamshire for a time.

Gregory was a bachelor with no children, and when he died the manor was passed on to an older cousin. The manor continued to be passed through the family until 1937, when it was purchased by entrepreneur and social campaigner, Violet Van der Elst. Violet made her fortune investing in beauty preparations like Shavex, the first brushless shave cream, but her true passion was campaigning against capital punishment. While much of her wealth went towards this campaign, she still spent a great deal of money fixing up the manor and providing many of its distinct features, such as the massive chandelier in the Great Hall and the lion statues on the front circle.

After Violet, the manor was passed on to the Society of Jesus, who eventually leased the property to Stanford University. In 1970, Dr. Wallace Graves sub-leased the manor for the University of Evansville and it was then purchased in 1978 by Dr. William Ridgway. Dr. Ridgway officially transferred ownership of the manor to the University of Evansville in 1978 and it has been in the hands of the University ever since. For many years the manor has been the beginning of many students’ journeys and has served as the start of their discovery of Europe, and then the rest of the world!

Harlaxton’s Present

Harlaxton Manor is a bustling place with plenty of action and excitement on any given day. The best way to keep up with what we’re doing is through our various social media accounts. You can find us on:

Harlaxton’s Future


Harlaxton College is the United Kingdom’s premier provider of study abroad. We are distinctive in our location and ethos and dedicate ourselves daily to transforming the lives of our students.


In the last century, the United Kingdom has transitioned from a global imperial power to one of the world’s most multicultural societies. It is an ideal setting, therefore, in which to engage students with enduring questions of the human condition, culture, and identity and to cultivate in students the characteristics of responsible global citizenship.

As part of the University of Evansville, we also support the university’s Mission of Learning by offering a program of study that directly addresses the challenges of living in an international community and the necessity of adopting a global view.


Set within a spectacular Grade 1 listed manor house, our integrated program of living, learning, and travel leads the U.S. and U.K. study abroad sectors and sets the standard for immersive experiential education.

Every student who enters through our magnificent front door experiences our exceptional community spirit and supportive personal approach. Students enjoy the benefits of an extraordinary international and intercultural education that is focused around a core course in British Studies, hands-on learning at sites from London to Lindisfarne, and individualized instruction. Learning at Harlaxton goes beyond the classroom to encompass extensive, complementary and invigorating student development programming that emphasizes teamwork, personal growth, connections with the local community, and leadership development.

We enroll students with diverse academic, artistic, and personal interests and offer a curriculum that appeals to students from all majors. Our coursework covers a range of general education and discipline-specific options and thus allows students to progress seamlessly toward graduation while also expanding their horizons. We are very notably an excellent destination for Honors students. Under the direction of talented and dedicated faculty, Honors students have the advantage of unique research, travel and presentation opportunities that harmoniously support and advance the academic trajectories that have been set for them on their home campuses.

All students leave Harlaxton transformed academically and personally. They become more independent and autonomous and better able to understand their place in a diverse world. Harlaxton equips students with the skills and attitudes necessary for global citizenship, and, above all, inspires them to continue their lifelong journeys.