A Cold and Lonely Place
Haverholme is a hamlet and site of Haverholme Priory in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated about 4 miles north-east from the town of Sleaford, and in the civil parish of Ewerby and Evedon. Haverholme was a civil parish between 1858 and 1931.
Today there is very little left of the hamlet other than a few houses and the ruins of the former home of the Finch-Hattons. The priory buildings are no longer and the land was dissolved by Henry 8th. It is rumoured that in 1164 Thomas Becket hid at Haverholme during one of his arguments with the King.
George Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchelsea and 5th Earl of Nottingham remodeled an existing building during 1830 in a Tudor style. It was used as a family home by the Finch-Hatton family for almost a century but by the early 1920s it was up for sale as the family was no longer in residence. Denys Finch Hatton spent some time in Africa and a ‘pet’ lion was allowed to roam around the substantial property. Some of you may recall a 1985 American romantic drama film directed and produced by Sydney Pollack called Out of Africa which starred Meryl Streep and Robert Retford. The story was loosely based on the life of Denys Finch Hatton.
The ruins are on private land, now a Grade II listed building and designated Ancient Monument, although they are in such a bad state I would not recommend going close too them.
The river Slea runs through the land with a footpath along the side. The river was made navigable from the Witham up to Sleaford in 1794, although these navigations were closed in 1878, having been made uneconomic by the arrival of the railway in 1857. There is now an active Sleaford Navigation Trust that aims to reopen to navigations again as far as Sleaford.