Thursday, 3 March 2011

Coffee Cake and Weddings At Samlesbury Hall

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Wanting to take advantage of yesterdays beautiful weather Stephanie and myself decided to pop out for a drive and treat ourselves to a spot of afternoon tea. We found ourselves at Samlesbury Hall on the A59. What a stunning scene of spring flowers, beautiful woodland and a simply amazing and interesting building.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Samlesbury Hall really is a stunning location and whilst we have photographed a number of weddings there over the years this was the first time I have been there in a non work capacity. As many of you know I do a lot of landscape and Architectural photography, this is really what I do when I am not working with Stephanie photographing weddings, so it was really great to have the chance to take a look around in my own time and indulge my interests in Architecture

Whilst having a coffee we decided it would be a great idea to feature some of the most interesting and popular venues we work at and give potential bride and grooms some insight into what we think are the best wedding venues in the area. Wedding photographers spend a lot of time thinking about weddings so it was no surprise that whilst walking around the Hall and its stunning grounds, we were remembering past weddings we had photographed here.


For some time we have been looking for ways to make the Ashton Photography blog a more interesting and informative source of information for couples getting married and our visit to Samlesbury Hall yesterday gave us the inspiration we have been looking for. I hope to be able to take a close look at many more of the superb wedding venues in Lancashire from the perspective of a wedding photographer. We will also try and give our thoughts on other wedding services and suppliers, maybe we can help you find the people and places that can make your wedding that little bit more special and avoid some of the pitfalls on the way.


So lets get back to the point, with a little bit of information about Samlesbury Hall.

Samlesbury Hall really must be one of Lancashire's hidden historical treasures. The Hall was built in 1325 by Gilbert de Southworth and it was the main home of the Southworth family until the early 1600s.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography


Possibly built to replace an earlier building on this site which was destroyed by the Scotts in a cross border raid in 1322, the hall has served many functions in its long history, including a public house and later a girls boarding school. However since 1925 when it was saved from demolition for its timber, the hall has been administered by a registered charity trust.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Now this Grade 1 listed building attracts many thousands of visitors each year. The hall now has a licence to hold civil wedding ceremonies, and when we have worked at the hall these have been held in the beautiful chapel. This was added to the original house by the southworth family, in order to upgrade the status of the building to that of a Manor House.

Doing some research I found that in order to be regarded as a Manor House certain key features needed to be present, they were

1. A large household,
2. A chapel and priest,
3. A store of fish for Fridays,
4. Usually a pond,
5. A water mill and grain store.

On a different note the Hall is reputed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Lancashire and legend has it the building and its grounds are haunted by the ghost of Lady Dorothy Southworth amongst others. Samlesbury Hall has featured a number of times on the popular paranormal show "Most Haunted"

So thats enough of the history lesson and I do hope I got at least most of the historical information correct. Whats Samlesbury Hall like as a Wedding venue? I can honestly say its one of my personal favourites. As a wedding photographer the location plays a big part in the images you are able to achieve on the day. At Samlesbury Hall photographically speaking you really do have it all. The grounds can only be described as sublime, always stunningly maintained they provide a great background for wedding photographs.

The wedding team at Samlesbury, Angela and Lindsay, are two great and very capable young ladies.Every wedding I have photographed at the Hall has been superbly run and I know only to well how key the venue events team are in a smooth running wedding. They really do seem to put the bride and groom and their guests at the very top of their priorities, and this shows through in the relaxed feel of weddings at Samlesbury Hall. I have come to learn over the years as a wedding photographer that the relaxed, happy weddings come about not through budget or venue, its the people that make weddings a sucsess. Here you have a team that know how to make an event run well.

Many venues try to create an "old" feel some do it well others fail. Samlesbury Hall is an old historic venue and the romantic side of me, would love the idea of my wedding being a small part of the history of such an important building. Many historic venues can be a lacking in intimacy, but here at Samlesbury the compact nature of the building serves to brined a feeling of warmth and intimacy to a wedding, whilst still providing so much for guest to see, explore and become part of.

We have photographed weddings here at all times of the year and it really is a venue that offers a stunning backdrop at any time. From my point of view I think the grounds look their best in Spring and Autumn.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

The Hall its self provides a location most photographers dream about. The exterior is stunning and gives you all those interesting little details that make wedding albums more interesting. I love to be able to tell a story at a wedding and this is a place were the venue is a story in its self.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

The interior of the Hall is once again superb for photography, the light inside this building is stunning and as we all know light is what makes pictures. There are so many small and interesting features you really can't go wrong and no matter were you go in the Hall you are blessed with this fantastic quality of light.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

That Hall as I have mentioned looks fantastic all of the time but for me its in the evening when the beautiful artificial lighting come on, that the real character of the building shows its self. If you get a chance take time out to explore the stunning stained glass windows, they are amazing and simply draw your attention to the fine detailed work which went into their construction.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

The image below from one of our weddings at the Hall last years, shows just how stunning the main hall is in the evening.

Samlesbury Hall Wedding Photography

Here are a few more images from Samlesbury Hall weddings, just to give you a feel for the atmosphere at the venue.









So what started out as an afternoons drive, a coffee and slice of very nice cream cake, turned into the idea for some new blog content. It seemed to make sense to start the ball rolling with such and interesting venue as Samlesbury Hall and I hope we can cover some other venues and top wedding suppliers in the near future.

Just in case you are not planning a wedding and also for the many keen photographers who I know read this blog. Samlesbury is open to the public on many days of the year it makes a great day out and offers some amazing non wedding photo opportunities. Take it from me the photographic ideas flow much more freely when a nice big slice of freshly made cake is close at hand!!! This time of year is possibly one of the best times to see the Hall so pop along and experience a really great historic location with your camera.

Over the course of this year we have a number of weddings at Samlesbury Hall and there will be many pictures for you to enjoy, in the mean time I hope you have enjoyed my brief insight into this fantastic Lancashire treasure. If you have any ideas for future articles that would be of interest please let Stephanie or myself know.

1 comment:

ABC Video Blog said...

What a great idea.
Enjoyed all the photos both weddings and the building...looking forward to the next installment and may even join you for a coffee and slice of cake!