Although known as Haverholme Priory this name is not strictly correct as the priory buildings were destroyed long ago and the land was dissolved by Henry 8th.
The land came under the ownership of George Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea and 5th Earl of Nottingham employed H.E. Kendal to build a country house in the Gothic style,
itself a rebuild of an earlier house dating from 1780.
During the 12th century there was a monastery founded by the only English order of the Cistercian monks who took a dislike to the place. Thomas Becket allegedly hid there during one of his arguments with the King and Charles Dickens was said to have used the location as his setting for Bleak House.
Haverholme became the family residence of the Finch-Hatton family for almost a century but by the early 1920s it was up for sale . The Hon. Denys George Finch Hatton was an aristocratic big-game hunter and the lover of Baroness Karen Blixen, a Danish noblewoman who wrote about him in her autobiographical book Out of Africa, first published in 1937 and later in 1985 a film starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.
Haverholme was allegedly sold in 1926 to an American woman who had most of it dismantled, stone by stone, to be rebuilt in America.
It is said that sadly while the cargo was on the dock-side in Liverpool the buyer became a victim in a train crash. Eventually the stones, which were never shipped to America, were used to build new docks and left us with the ruins we see today.