Are you newly engaged and looking for a beautiful venue for your Hertfordshire wedding ceremony and reception? Why not consider Rothamsted Manor with its many benefits for your big day? This gorgeous venue will definitely provide you with those special memories, fantastic photos and outstanding service you’d want. Here’s what you need to know about Rothamsted Manor near Harpenden in Hertfordshire.
ABOUT ROTHAMSTED MANOR
Rothamsted Manor is a gorgeous gem of a Hertfordshire wedding venue just on the edge of Harpenden hidden within the grounds of Rothamsted Research. The stunning property comes into view as you step through a tree arch when you see the gorgeous frontage complete with original 1600s chimneys and unusual bell tower. The Wittewronge coat of arms greets you above the main front door. This family owned the property from 1623 until 1931 so you really get the feeling that you’re surrounded by history at this incredible building.
WHY CHOSE ROTHAMSTED MANOR FOR YOUR WEDDING?
Firstly, Rothamsted is so beautiful it’ll take your breath away when you go to visit! But apart from that, there are a lot of other GREAT reasons why you should consider Rothamsted as your home for your wedding day…
1. THE AMAZING STAFF
Nothing is too much trouble for this super helpful and friendly team. I meet a lot of venue coordinators and meeting the coordinators here was such a breath of fresh air – they are so welcoming and friendly; you’ll be in great hands! Furthermore, they’ve thought of every last detail such as not allowing cars to park in front of the venue during your day so that the frontage remains clear for photos and it’s the attention to detail like this that is sorely lacking at a lot of venues. They’ve got other fab suppliers on hand that they can recommend to you as well. For example, their commitment to sustainability is carried through their supplier list with sustainable florists and other suppliers continuing their credentials.
2. THE INCREDIBLE VIEWS AND GROUNDS
As mentioned above, you can gaze out over the beautiful grounds while enjoying your wedding breakfast, or have drinks outside on the lawns. However, the grounds change with every season and will look stunning in all of them. The spring has daffodils around the statues which give way to a blanket of bluebells in the gardens. In summer the garden is adorned with beautiful flowers, but even in winter all the manicured gardens have a lot of evergreen bushes and grass so it’s guaranteed to be gorgeous in every season!
3. PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES
If you’re wanting amazing photos of your wedding day (and why wouldn’t you?!) then this venue is not going to disappoint. The grounds are breathtaking and the inside of the house matches. Whether you had a sunny or rainy day you’d find plenty of beautiful places to get some gorgeous photos of you as a couple and there is ample space for family photos. Plus the backdrops for your ceremony, if you hold it here, wedding breakfast, speeches, dancing and rest of your celebration are truly the stuff fairytales are made of!
By having your wedding at Rothamsted you’ll be helping with the upkeep of a Grade I listed building and preserving history and supporting the amazing agricultural research that happens on the estate, plus enjoying the delicious food that is all made using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.
5. EXCLUSIVE HIRE
If having a venue that is exclusively yours for your wedding day or event is important to you then Rothamsted is going to be right up your alley. Nobody will disturb you here, it’s a total hidden gem at the end of a long driveway with no strangers accidentally stumbling into your wedding day!
WEDDING CEREMONY AND RECEPTION ROOMS AT ROTHAMSTED MANOR
The hall is the oldest part of the house with the original beams still visible in the ceiling, it’s certainly got the vow factor to greet your wedding guests as they enter the front door! Being a grade I listed building there are original features everywhere you look like the windows with the stain glass shields of arms in them and the original oak floor boards that date back to the 1800s. This is the room that your guests can have drinks in should you have a colder weather wedding or event and also where your evening tea and coffee will be served.
GREAT DRAWING ROOM
This room is actually an extension… fret not, it was built in 1864! It has such a feeling of grandeur when you enter which is only heightened when you learn that the stained glass in the windows depicts the marriages of the house’s family over the years. What a beautiful space to celebrate your marriage if you’re having more guests!
The room has a beautiful original table which becomes your top table and you eat in front of the large fireplace with an overmantel bearing the Lawes-Wittewronge arms while watching your guests enjoy the opulent surroundings and looking out the large Victorian windows over the immaculately manicured gardens. The room seats 80 very comfortably and up to 100 if you want to have a less formal eating option than a sit-down meal.
At first glance I was confused at this being called a library but the ceiling and doors conceal the bookcases and it was closely modelled on a library at Rawdon House in Hoddesdon and also has the fireplace from Rawdon House in it. It’s a lovely space with light flooding in from the garden through the big, leaded windows.
Currently the Library seats 57 for a civil ceremony if you’re holding a wedding ceremony at the venue or more for a blessing although watch this space as there may be increase in guest numbers afoot in the near future as the council consider the allowed numbers at venues again.
The beautiful lounge is an oak panelled room with a seventeenth century fireplace creating a focal point and also where you’ll happily dance away on a specially installed dance floor in the evening which will be laid down for you.
SPANISH LEATHER ROOM
It’s hard to express with words how beautiful this room is…! The walls coverings originate from the seventeenth century and are all hand painted leather. It looked like a room covered in ornate gold leaf, it’s staggeringly beautiful and is set off beautifully by the carved, white fireplace and moulded ceiling.
There is a gorgeous fully-stocked bar with rounded windows that can be opened onto the gardens for that indoor-outdoor feeling. I absolutely love the feel of this room with the wood panelling and black and white floor, it feels historic and somehow art deco all at the same time. I just feel like I should be sipping a cocktail and having a fabulous conversation! The gardens have tables set up alongside the grass for summer time drinks receptions and your guests can mingle on the grass or play lawn games which feels really fitting with the venue, super fun!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ROTHAMSTED MANOR
The first recorded mention of Rothamsted Manor is found in 1212 although the house was probably timber framed and simple at this time. In 1355 the house was purchased by the Cressey family and stayed in the family until 1519 when the only child and heir, Elizabeth, married Edmund Bardolph and on death of her father in 1525 ownership passed to her husband and the Bardolph family. In 1623 the family run into financial difficulties and sell the property to the Wittewronge family. They are a well-connected family from Ghent in Belgium who escaped religious persecution of protestants in the Netherlands and came to London in 1564. Jacques Wittewronge’s portrait still hangs in the drawing room. The family rebuilds the house in 1639 to the Rothamsted Manor that we recognise today.
In 1785, a childless Wittewronge descendant has no heir and Rothamsted passes to John Bennet, his first cousin who also dies childless and the house passes to the Bennet Lawes family. In 1834 John Bennet Lawes coverts a room into a laboratory and managed the farm and started a fertilizer business, to his family’s disapproval, but starting the modern Rothamsted Research. The family decide to sell the probably in 1931 and an appeal for public funds was launched. In 1939, the Manor was used by the military during WW2 as a listening post, recording and feeding messages to Bletchley Park for decoding. In 1946 the house started being used as a Hall of Residence for staff and visiting staff to Rothamsted Research. The Manor House was given listed status in 1953.
WANT TO CHECK OUT ROTHAMSTED MANOR?
Well here you go! Click here to check out Rothamsted Manor’s website where you can contact them directly to arrange a visit which I highly recommend. As a result of a visit, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this incredible wedding and events venue as much as I have. Don’t forget that as well as weddings they host engagement parties, christenings, anniversaries and other celebrations not to mention corporate events. If you’re getting married at Rothamsted Manor and think my style of happy, natural wedding photography would fit into your day then I’d absolutely love to hear about your wedding so please do get in touch!