A new wedding venue has been launched in a former deer park owned by the Duke of Northumberland.
Friars Well, a private country house in Hulne Park near Alnwick, has opened its doors for the first time as an idyllic wedding venue, complete with breathtaking views across landscape designed by the famous Capability Brown in the 18th century.
The extensive house boasts five large reception rooms, nine bedrooms including a magnificent master suite, an indoor, heated swimming pool and variety of lawns and large terraces.
It is now licensed for marriages and adds to the other options for weddings within Alnwick Castle Estate - the 13th century Hulne Abbey and the majestic castle itself. All three of these venues now hold licences and couples can mix their celebrations between all of them.
The venue can host between 16 and 60 guests and there is also the option of a marquee on the lawns at Friars Well overlooking the lake, where al fresco barbecues are on the menu.
An open afternoon is being held at Friars Well between noon and 3pm on Sunday, May 21, to view the house and garden, meet a range of wedding advisers, look around Hulne Abbey and enjoy a glass of fizz. Interested parties are asked to pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Alnwick Castle’s wedding manager and coordinator Fiona Wealleans said: "Everyone wishes their wedding to be the most perfect day of their life and with the addition of lovely Friars Well to our venues, we can now offer a fantastic variety of large or small weddings for everyone – and all happening in the most wonderful surroundings.
"From a small intimate ceremony overlooking the beautiful, unspoilt Northumberland countryside at Friars Well, to a spellbinding service at Hulne Abbey or dancing until dawn in the Great Hall at the castle. Whatever you want – even if its broomstick training for your guests - we will wave our Alnwick Castle magic wands and do our best to arrange it for you!”
For more information on Alnwick Castle weddings, visit www.alnwickcastle.com and go to events and weddings.
HISTORY OF FRIAR'S WELL
Friar's Well was built as a family home in the 1990s, replacing a series of old farm buildings.
It takes its name from a well once situated there, which has been mentioned at least as far back as the 15th century. The well supplied fresh spring water to the Lord's Tower, built by the 4th Earl of Northumberland (1449-1489) in 1488 in memory of his wife. The well had also been used by the friars at Hulne Priory, which provided its name.
Water would have been carried to the priory using buckets, until a lead pipe system was put in, which ran into a leaden cistern set in the wall.
In later centuries, the area became known as Necessity Farm. Among other farm buildings was a row of cottages, a pair of open cattle sheds and a two-storey grain store, which included a loft and a water-driven threshing wheel, powered by a nearby pond. The farm was marked on maps as Necessity until 1866, where it became known as Friars Well Farm.
The Percy family took over the farm in 1827 and has been owned by them ever since. It was still in use during the First World War, providing jobs and homes to men and their families, some of whom went on to fight in the war.