For the first time in its history, Firle Place opened its doors for civil ceremonies 2020 so that couples could hold every part of their day on the private estate. After arriving at Firle Place via its impressive driveway running through private parkland, guests can simply make their way to The Courtyard, The Great Hall, The Old Billiard Room or Little Hall for the civil ceremony.
The Courtyard lies behind the giant blue doors as featured prominently in the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. An inner sanctum of the house, this internal courtyard can seat up to 150 guests for a civil ceremony with the couple standing beneath a magnificent archway to say their vows. The Courtyard is filled with fragrant climbing flowers and fig trees with the House and Great Hall as backdrop.
The Great Hall
The Great Hall is one of the most historic rooms of the House which has never before been a feature of weddings at Firle Place. Featuring some impressive historical features including a floor to ceiling Van Dyke painting which works as a breathtaking backdrop as couples say their vows, the Great Hall boasts a huge fire place, original Tudor stone floor, floor to ceiling windows and double doors opening out on to the Courtyard. The Great Hall can accommodate 120 seated guests or 150 standing.
The Old Billiard Room was originally one of the formal dining rooms of the House and now provides a more intimate space for civil ceremonies. Featuring Regency-style wallpaper, fire place, oil paintings and expansive curved windows looking out to the front of the House over the Estate, The Billiard Room works perfectly for smaller wedding parties and can accommodate 40 seated guests or 60 standing.
The Old Billiard Room
Little Hall is an intimate space just off The Great Hall for smaller wedding ceremonies. At the foot of the famous Firle staircase and presided over by a glorious chandelier and works of art, Little Hall works well for small ceremonies of 25 seated guests which then follow with reception drinks and wedding breakfast in either The Great Hall or The Old Billiard Room. Little Hall can also be used as an extension of The Great Hall to increase capacity, or as a bar and dancing area.
Firle Place has also licensed its Georgian Riding School for civil ceremonies so that couples who do not wish to hire additional space for their ceremony can still legally marry on site.
If you would prefer a church wedding, Firle Place has the wonderful St Peter’s Church just next door. There is a gate from the grounds of Firle Place directly into the Churchyard so guests can simply park and walk just a few moments to the ceremony. If you are not a local resident or regular of St Peter’s Church we can put you in touch directly with Reverend Peter Owen-Jones to discuss the possibility of marrying here.
The Georgian Riding School at Firle Place is a stunning Grade 2* listed, barn-style building located in the private grounds of the house. Its grand size and spectacular 450m fairly lit ceiling with exposed oak beams, make it a truly wonderful indoor space for weddings and parties for up to 250 guests (although it can be easily partitioned for smaller events using the beautiful, soft white draping system).
The Georgian Riding School sits just above the croquet lawns, Cherry Walk and a pretty lake framed by weeping willows, and so couples who choose to hold their wedding here also have use of stunning outside space. A first drink and photographs can also be captured directly in front of the House by the fountains.
The Georgian Riding School is a beautiful, historic building for those looking for a unique indoor space but without losing the great charms of an outdoor wedding with some stylish extra features including giant foliage and fairy-lit chandeliers, six full-size fairy lit olive trees and a stunning white, wood-topped bar all ready for action!
The Reception, option one
The Georgian Riding School & Croquet Lawns
The Reception, option two
The South Lawns & Dell Gardens
The private gardens of the Gage family are tucked behind the stunning stately home with views of the whole Estate and nestled at the foot of the Downs. Guests arrive at the grand, gated entrance to the House which leads through a topiary garden known as Four Squares, and then directly onto the breathtaking South Lawns.
This site also has a beautiful, private walled garden called The Dell complete with a 16th century thatched dairy cottage, lawned terrace and wildflower meadow, ideal for reception drinks. This is reached via apple-tree framed stone steps or a daisy-strewn, wild-orchid walkway. This area featured strongly in the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. It is particularly resplendent from late May to late August.
This is a marquee site without inside space and so couples would need to hire in a marquee, loos and a generator. Our team can make recommendations of excellent suppliers.
Couples who are looking for a rustic, bohemian feel but still want the glamour and romance of Firle Place’s impressive grounds will love this option, which also includes the use of the breathtaking driveway through the Park and private parking for all guests. The Herb Garden can also be booked as an extra for couples hiring The Georgian Riding School as a wonderful spot for photographs and drinks.
This magical space is an 18th century walled garden with adjacent fruit orchard, which has been lovingly restored by Lady Gage to provide a dreamy, romantic setting for weekday (including Friday) wedding receptions. It is an abundance of colour and fragrance throughout the late Spring, Summer and early Autumn.
Enter the Herb Garden from an enchanting woodland walkway beside the lake or by a gate from St Peter’s Church. Guests can wander the flower strewn walkways, drink in hand, and then move through to the orchard which provides space for a marquee for wedding breakfast and party.
The Reception, option three
The Herb Garden & Orchard
The Georgian Riding School & Croquet Lawns (reception only)
The South Lawns & Dell Gardens (reception only)
The Herb Garden & Orchard (reception only)
£2,000 (only available weekdays including Fridays), £300 for two hour hire
Civil Ceremony in Great Hall or Courtyard
Civil ceremony in The Old Billiard Room
Civil ceremony in Little Hall
Prices shown inclusive of VAT.
Please note that we don’t hold two weddings on the same day at Firle Place to give our couples a sense of real exclusivity. We also provide plenty of time for wedding set up and clear down. For example, if you have booked a wedding on a Saturday, you will have a full day on the Friday to set up and then until close of play on Sunday to clear down, with supplier access on the Monday morning.
Firle is a few miles from the town of Lewes which has mainline trains direct from London and Brighton. It is a 10 minute taxi ride from Lewes Station, or 5 minutes from nearby Glynde Station. Situated just off the A27 which connects directly from the A23/M23 with Gatwick Airport no more than 40 minutes away.
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