I photographed my first wedding at Ellingham Hall in September this year and was blown away by by how great it was. It might just be the perfect wedding venue in Northumberland.
Ellingham Hall is an English country house in the county of Northumberland.
Ellingham Hall has had an interesting and varied history and this is reflected in its architecture. The hall was built in the 17th century by Sir John Haggerston. It was enlarged under the ownership of his successor, Edward Haggerston, but suffered severe damage in a fire that burned most of the East wing to the ground.
During the Second World War, the Ellingham estate was farmed by the Women's Land Army. They put the tennis courts into cultivation and used the reception rooms as a food storage centre. From 1955 to 1988 the hall was used a prep school for boys aged 5 to 18. After that it was bought by property developers but a plan to convert the building into residential flats fell through, leaving the hall standing empty and vulnerable to vandalism and the elements. It was bought in 1995 by Helen and Aidan Ruff, who restored and renovated it to serve as a country house venue for holiday rental, parties, weddings and corporate events. The refurbished building was reopened in 2003. In May 2010, the chapel was gutted by fire but it has since been restored.
Weddings at Ellingham Hall
Ellingham Hall has 18 bedrooms and 9 estate cottages. Because it isn't a hotel with other guests, if you choose to get married here you will have the run of the place and won't be bumping into strangers.
The rooms that the bride and groom typically use are very large, with sofas and four-poster beds, and one even leads out onto a roof terrace. Bridal preparation photos are therefore a real pleasure, and there is even a games room in the basement if you want to get photos of the groom and his mates playing pool or playing darts.
The Chapel can be used for the wedding breakfast and disco, and is very high ceilinged with light coloured walls and tall windows, so the light is good. There is a mezzanine floor so you can look down on the action and there is even a large round window which is a great backdrop for bridal portraits.
Ellingham Hall is fully licensed for weddings and Civil Partnerships so you can get married on the premises and need not leave the venue at all on the day. Alternatively, if you are looking for a traditional church service, St Maurice's Church is within walking distance. In fact, there is a door in the garden walls of Bellingham to allow quicker access to the church.
Ellingham Hall is a great venue for photography. The reception rooms are large with high ceilings and big windows, so the dark wood panelling isn't an issue. Each room has it's own unique character, so even if the weather is poor you have plenty of options to vary your indoor shots.
The grounds are expansive, though, so if the weather is fine you can get some beautiful photos on the lawns, with the foliage or even around the stream that runs through the gardens.
- The grounds are extensive, so if the weather is good you will have lots of space for your guests to explore and to get good photos.
- Even if the weather is bad, the Hall itself is large with unique rooms, so your guest won't feel crowded and you should still get good photographs.
- If you book the Hall for your wedding it will be exclusive and private, so you won't be bumping into other people as you might if your wedding was in a hotel.
- I really had to stretch to think of even a single negative for Ellingham Hall. The only thing I could think of was that the venue is a little off the beaten track in Northumberland, and might be tricky to get to in really bad weather. However, once you are there you have everything you need for a comfortable stay!
Address: Ellingham Hall, Ellingham, Northumberland NE67 5EY
Phone: 01665 568118