Media Release: Old Somerley’s 17th Century Folly Renovated To Offer Wedded Bliss

Ringwood, Hampshire – Tuesday 22 September, 2009; The exquisite 17th century Folly at Old Somerley, the exclusive Hampshire wedding venue situated on the Somerley Estate, is now licensed to hold civil and blessing ceremonies. Following extensive renovation of the surrounding area, the Folly adds another dream option to Somerley’s outstanding wedding packages.

Located just outside Ringwood, Old Somerley is a unique and secluded wedding venue steeped in history. The Garden House, ancient Folly and two-acre Walled Garden stands where the original stately home was once located, before it was devastated by fire and the remains finally demolished between 1803 and 1811. The Folly is thought to be one of the few precious elements left behind from the site of the original house. Two hundred years on, the Walled Garden in which it sits has been fittingly renovated. Maintaining the atmosphere and ambience of this tranquil retreat has remained at the heart of the renovation project. The Somerley Estate team has paid tireless attention to detail throughout the works while sourcing only the best local crafts people and resources. Stunning Purbeck stone steps, sourced from Landers Quarry, now lead the bride and groom up to the Folly to pledge their troths with an elegant backdrop of a Portico, personally chosen by Lord and Lady Normanton from the Cranborne Forge. Purbeck roach stone pathways, which lead to the four points of the compass and connect the majestic central colonial feature with the Folly, form four perfect quadrangles across the two-acre expanse. Even the ground was ploughed in preparation for the planting of new lawns at a champion level, by Dorset’s one-time British Ploughing Champion, Stuart Rose, with assistance from local farmer Gordon Philpott. A wedding photographer’s dream location, the Folly is now licensed for a maximum congregation of 200 seated in an open-sided marquee, complete with a central aisle leading to the Purbeck stone steps and enchanting Folly. Couples can hold their dream ceremony for 50 guests for as little as £1,750 on weekdays. Complete wedding day packages, incorporating a marquee to accommodate the Wedding Breakfast and evening reception, can be tailored to meet bespoke requirements. Mid-week wedding packages are also on offer, subject to availability. The vastly experienced Somerley team can help ease the stresses of organising your big day while all culinary delights are created under the supervision of Somerley head chef, Dominique Charles. Lord Normanton commented: “The Somerley Estate is not open to the public and so the Folly and Old Somerley offers a special wedding venue exclusively yours for the day. The transformation project for this unique site has not been undertaken lightly, with many months of planning and renovation works, but the finished result is more than a fitting tribute to its historic surroundings. It is wonderful to be able to bring the Folly back to life and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to resurrect this monument than to offer it as a rather special place to get married or have your wedding blessed.” For further information visit www.oldsomerley.com -Ends- Notes to Editors Old Somerley is situated within 7000 acres of breathtaking Hampshire countryside that forms the private Somerley Estate, home to Lord and Lady Normanton. One of England’s best kept secret wedding and corporate venues, Old Somerley is conveniently located just 90 minutes from London and 20 minutes from Bournemouth and Southampton airports. For further information and full details of wedding and corporate entertainment packages available, visit the new Old Somerley website www.oldsomerley.com Media Site Press release and copyright free hi-res media images are also available at www.oldsomerley.com/press Username: press Password: oldsomerley Media Contact: Emma Spearing, Hazel PR Ltd Tel: 01202 862411 Fax: 01202 862301 Mobile: 07736 341828 E-mail: emma.spearing@hazelpr.com

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