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Athelhampton House near Dorchester in Dorset is one of England's finest 15th Century Manor Houses and sits in 160 acres of parkland, twenty acres of which are landscaped with stunning gardens and structural planting. The estate is privately owned though the house and gardens are open to the public for visits and can be hired for exclusive use for weddings and events on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year.
The historic Great Hall can be used for hosting civil ceremonies and the wedding breakfast can be held in the long hall or conservatory with its glass roof giving plenty of natural light. Guests numbers vary between the different rooms, the long hall (once a stable block) can seat up to 80 guests for the wedding breakfast with the conservatory able to seat up to 120 guests. Both rooms are often combined for the evening reception with space for 300 guests. The Athelhampton estate's guest cottage can also be rented on a short term basis as accommodation for wedding guests or wedding party.
The beautiful gardens were envisioned as a series of "outdoor rooms" inspired by the Renaissance and consist of eight walled gardens with ponds, fountains and pavilions as well as statues. The largest garden sits directly opposite the manor house to the right of the main gate and is planted with 12 large yew trees cut into pyramids that surround the ornamental fountain. The lawn to the left of the main gate contains an early 16th-century circular dovecote, home to around 30 white doves often seen drinking from the fountain.
There is a wealth of opportunities for wedding photographs at Athelhampton, the house itself makes a great backdrop, the facade of the building is beautiful and the gardens provide many beautiful areas for group images and romantic portraits.
Also very nearby is the Church of St John, designed by Dorchester architect 'Hicks' and built in 1862.
Athelhampton House Postcode is DT2 7LG, the full address being Athelhampton House & Gardens, Athelhampton, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7LG
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