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Report - - Haverholme Priory, Lincolnshire, October 2019 | Residential Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Haverholme Priory, Lincolnshire, October 2019


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
The Priory is a monastery in the county of Lincolnshire, situated 4 miles north-east of Sleaford, just under a mile south-west of Anwick. It was founded in 1139 and was home to the only English order of the Cistercian monks or ‘Gilbertines’. Initially given to the monks by Alexander (The Bishop of Lincoln), it was the later then sold to Gilbert of Sempringham who had initially formed the order of monks. The order was dissolved under Henry VIII in 1539. The Priory was then granted to Edward Lord Clinton, who, by the King's licence, subsequently granted half of the manor to Robert Carre in 1544, and the other half to William Thorold. The property passed through several owners until it was bought by Sir Samuel Gordon, 1st Baronet. in 1763. The property passed, on his death, to Sir Jenison William Gordon, 2nd Baronet. In 1788 Sir Jenison improved and enlarged the building. On Sir Jenison's death in 1831 he bequeathed it to George William Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea, 5th Earl of Nottingham. Finch-Hatton, famous for duelling with the Duke of Wellington in 1829, had the house rebuilt shortly after in a Tudor style by H.E. Kendall who completed the work in 1835. Finch-Hatton later died here in 1858. Henry Stormont Finch-Hatton, 13th Earl, was the last owner of the Priory. Apparently in the early 1900s the family had a lion as a pet, which roamed around the house just like a cat. The 13th Earl decided to auction-off Haverholme Priory Estate post-World War II, when it was put up for sale by local auctioneers Earl and Lawrence on Monday, 9th August 1926, at the Corn Exchange, Sleaford.

Auction catalogue entry for the sale of priory from 1926:

Haverholme priory Desc Collage by HughieDW, on Flickr

Here stories tend to conflict a little. Some report it was bought in 1926 by an American lady who then dismantled most of the priory, stone by stone, with the intentions of rebuilding it in America. However, while the cargo was in the dock in Liverpool, ready for shipping to the States, the lady in question died in a train crash. Subsequently, the stones were never shipped and instead were used to build part of the new docks in Liverpool. This story can be dispelled as being untrue as the property was actually purchased for £5,400 by a Mr Caley of Manchester, who, after the departure of the Finch-Hatton's on 11th October that year, went on to demolish the majority of the house.

This explains why the present ruins that remain (one tower and a portion of the ornamental balustrade) represent only a fraction of the original building dating around 1835.

A couple of old archive pictures showing the place in its full glory:

20191020_171207 by HughieDW, on Flickr

20191020_171322 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The Priory has a ghostly reputation with unexplained footsteps reportedly to have been heard in and around the ruins. It now lies on private land as part of the Haverholme Estate and is a Grade II listed building and designated Ancient Monument.

And finally, one completely random fact; the second son of Henry S Finch-Hatton, the Priory's last owner, was one Denys Finch-Hatton. He was a white game hunter in East Africa who was killed in 1931 when his Gypsy Moth crashed in Voi, Kenya. His story was brought to the big screen in 1985 via the film "Out of Africa", starring Robert Redford as Finch-Hatton and Meryl Streep as Baroness Karen von Blixen.

2. The Explore
I first went to check this place out way back in April 2015. However, the weather was dull, and I didn’t get any internal shots so never bothered posting a report. This was down to the ruins being very close to the estate houses and the fact that the ruins are in a paddock where horses’ graze, along with an electric fence. Hence, I’d been meaning to revisit the place for a while. A source tipped me off that the horses had now gone and as I happened to be passing, thought it rude not to check it.

This time around I was successful. The place is gradually falling down and will end up as a pile of stones, given the costs of saving the place or even stabilising what is left. As it turns out, the inside is mainly on the outside and, anyhow, the best shots are ones of the external stonework. But that aside, it is an incredibly photogenic ruin and worthy of half-an-hour of your time if you are in the area.

3. The Pictures

Part of the overgrown estate wall:

img8387 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The ornamental balustrade:

img8396 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8395 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The house from the south:

img8391 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Brick end wall:

img8394 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img8393 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The tower side on:

img8392 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Back around the other side:

img3735bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3737 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3734 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3733 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3710bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

The two shields on the remaining tower. Not sure who these coat of arms are:

img3711bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

But this is the Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham's coat of arms:

img3712 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And in we go:

Haverholme 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Haverholme 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The floors in the tower were some of the last to fall through. You can still see traces of the plaster and wall colours:

Haverholme 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The rest of it is pretty much piles of rubble and old floor beams:

Haverholme 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Haverholme 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Haverholme 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Haverholme 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3721 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3719 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img3718 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
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Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
What a piece of architecture this used to be!! Those old photos really show a stunning building, why move or demo!!!! its a total mystery really. And really sad tbh.

That aside, what is left is pretty photogenic and still shows what a fabulous building this once was. Our country is denied any such new projects, and it is a crying shame. We should never let such buildings go to private buyers!! Unless its to restore in this country!

Good report and nice read :thumb
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
What a piece of architecture this used to be!! Those old photos really show a stunning building, why move or demo!!!! its a total mystery really. And really sad tbh.

That aside, what is left is pretty photogenic and still shows what a fabulous building this once was. Our country is denied any such new projects, and it is a crying shame. We should never let such buildings go to private buyers!! Unless its to restore in this country!

Good report and nice read :thumb
Cheers CJ! It is a crying shame when you see how ornate the place was. It could still make a lovely 'folly style' mini-priory if restored, but that would probably be uneconomic.

I like these lovely ruins, nice to see the stone flag
These are a bit special aren't they. If it does fall down I'm sure they will be salvaged...
 

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