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Haverholme Priory

Sleaford, Lincolnshire

Rebuilt in 1835, for George Finch-Hatton (1791-1858), 10th Earl of Winchilsea & Nottingham. It was built on the site of a monastery that existed here since 1139 but was dissolved under King Henry VIII in 1539. It passed through the hands of several owners until purchased by the Earls of Winchilsea & Nottingham who were seated at Kirby Hall. They abandoned their traditional seat in favor of Haverholme which the 10th Earl had rebuilt in the Gothic-Revival style. It remained in their family until the 13th Earl - who kept a pet lion here - sold it to an American lady in 1926. She all but entirely dismantled it stone-by-stone with the intention of rebuilding it in America. As the stones lay ready to be loaded at Liverpool, the lady was killed in a train accident and the stones were then used to build further docks there! The 14th Earl, and his American wife, Margaretta Drexel, lived at Buckfield House

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