In an article in The Grantham Journal dated 1859 the writer gives a detailed recollection of a visit to Harlaxton Manor. At this time the Manor was open to visitors on Mondays “through the kindness of George Gregory, Esq.”. A conspicuous object in the “Baron’s Hall” (now known as Great Hall) was an exquisite marble bust by W. Theed, Esq, artiste of the “Newton Statue” which can still be seen today on St Peter’s Hill, Grantham. The marble bust bears the inscription “Gregory Williams Gregory, who caused this mansion to be erected 1830-1854.”
By 1875, according to another article in The Grantham Journal, the marble bust of Mr. Gregory had been relocated to the gardens. This article first appeared in the Journal of Horticulture in the same year, in which there is a beautiful engraving of the formal gardens.
Somehow the bust appears to survive the spectacular Gregory Heirlooms sale at Christie’s in 1878, as Mrs Delves Broughton refers to its presence in her article for The Ladies Field in 1906.
“Facing the house on the south side a broad flight of steps leads upwards from the formal garden, and here, in an open space at their summit, is a marble statue of Mr. Gregory Gregory gazing down with sightless eyes at all his wonderful creations.”
What happens to the bust hereafter is a mystery. It does not appear to be in the 1937 Contents Sale Catalogue, so one hopes it has remained in the Pearson-Gregory family.
Reminiscences of a visit to Harlaxton Manor House. The Grantham Journal, Saturday May 28 and Saturday June 4, 1859
Harlaxton Manor. The Grantham Journal, April 17, 1875
Harlaxton. Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener, April 1, 1875, p.258-9. Available online at: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/37840#page/270/mode/1up [accessed 13 November 2014]
Broughton, Delves Mrs., 1906. Beautiful homes: Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire. The Ladies Field, March 10, p.14-17