At the heart of the Estate is Elvaston Castle, for 400 years the home of the Stanhope family, who later became the Earls of Harrington. The Estate has love at its core, the romantic story of the 4th Earl of Harrington and his true love, Maria Foote being central to the development and design of the estate and formal gardens; the latter designed by William Barron for the 4th Earl in honour of his wife. The Castle is a predominantly 19th century creation built around an earlier 17th century house. It too is locally renowned for romance, with its Gothic Hall, designed around themes of chivalry, honour and love; also providing a film set in 1969 for ‘Women in Love’, a British romantic drama film directed by Ken Russell and based on D.H. Lawrence’s novel of the same name. The film starred Oliver Reed, Alan Bates, Glenda Jackson and Jennie Linden, the former two actors infamously being filmed wrestling in front of the Gothic Hall fireplace.
Surrounding the Castle is a series of ‘garden rooms’ (including the ‘Garden of Fair Star’), a nearby lake and wider parkland. Many of the estate buildings and much of the gardens and parkland are designated Grade 2* for their heritage significance.
The varied landscape provides a wonderful and very attractive setting that is enjoyed for a wide range of recreation and access. The Estate is also important for wildlife, particularly bats, and part of the site is designated a Local Nature Reserve.
The perfect setting for that special day, the history doesn’t fail to add to the character of the venue. With its stunning gardens and Gothic splendour of the main hall, what better way to celebrate with your guests. The Gothic Hall can entertain up to 60 (56) guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, with the Secret Garden offering scope for almost any size marquee. Alternatively hold your ceremony outdoors in the delightful Old English Garden followed by a lovely traditional drinks reception, before moving into your marquee within the Secret Garden to celebrate with friends and family.
With exclusive access to the Gothic Hall and select Gardens on your wedding day, there will be plenty of opportunity to explore the fantastic estate. This unique venue really does offer the setting people dream of, its breath-taking grounds the perfect opportunity for photographs you will treasure forever.