Get in Touch

Address
Gorcott Hall,
Mappleborough Green,
Warwickshire,
B98 9EU

Phone
01789 224450

Email
weddings@gorcotthall.co.uk

March 31, 2022 by Mark Wasley 0 Comments

Our Wedding Experience with Gorcott Hall by Hannah & Dan Coley

Why Gorcott Hall?  

When we were setting out on the wedding planning journey, we knew we wanted something quite unique in the West Midlands, local to where we live. We looked at a couple of venues that we saw as being quite ‘different’ but they didn’t have the heart that was important to us. When we spoke to Mark and Allie, we knew that they had it in abundance!  

First Impressions 

It sounds cliche but we loved Gorcott Hall from the moment we got out of our car and walked towards the main building, with music playing across the grounds. The house felt really cosy and warm, historic but still unique and totally beautiful.  

Meeting the team 

Instantly, we felt very welcomed by Mark and Allie and just felt that they got us and what we wanted from our wedding. They took the time to get to know us and really spent time showing us around the different parts of the venue. It was lovely to see the barn with some tables set up as an example of what it may look like on the big day. We also loved walking around with Ted!!  

The lead up to the big day 

How was the communication with the team? 

The team were really easy to communicate with, which was particularly important as we basically planned our wedding through a lockdown! We always had quick responses and felt comfortable calling whenever we had a question.  

Did you receive guidance about suppliers? 

Yes! Our wedding was very much a family affair with members of our family doing our cake, flowers and decorations. Our photographer and DJ had worked at Gorcott before which was helpful, both said they really enjoyed the experience – so from our perspective everything was pretty smooth!  

Visits pre big day 

When we came to visit before properly booking Gorcott as our wedding venue, Mark encouraged us to come back the following week with our parents so they could see it too – this was a really nice touch and important to us, and was a really special part of the planning process.  

Menu tasting evening  

Because we mostly planned our wedding across covid lockdowns, there were a few things that we felt we missed out on in the wedding planning process – so we were really excited for our menu tasting! It was on what ended up being one of the hottest days of the year, and the team set up a table outside for us to sit out on the patio and taste the different options, whilst listening to some lovely music over the speakers. It was so relaxing and a really special experience that we loved – and so great to have a lovely time at Gorcott in the summertime (as our wedding was a chilly day in October!)  

The Wedding 

Pre wedding (Bridal suite)  

We had seen the bridal suite at various stages as it was being renovated when we first visited Gorcott, so it really was a beautiful surprise when we arrived on the morning of our wedding. With 6 bridesmaids, Mum, Auntie and an army of hairdressers and make-up artists, it was the perfect space for us to get ready and just enjoy some quality time together.  

Flexibility 

The team were so flexible on wedding ceremony venue (in or outdoors), changes to guest numbers, catering to tricky guests, dietary requirements etc. We really couldn’t fault anything!!  

The Wedding 

The Food, atmosphere, party, team etc were all just AMAZING!! Quite simply we had the best day of our lives, that surpassed all of our expectations (which were already high as we were so excited) and many of our guests have told us it was the best wedding they have ever been to (we would totally agree, but of course we are biased!!). We couldn’t believe that the food was even better than it was at our tasting day – how is this possible when cooking for 90 more people?!  

The atmosphere across the whole day was one of love and joy, everyone had a fantastic time and the energy went right through to the end of the night. It wouldn’t have been the same without the amazing team on the day, from the ladies looking after us in the morning whilst getting ready, to Allie helping with my dress at times throughout the day, to Mark putting a drink aside for us when we needed one in the midst of it all, to everyone joining us on the dance floor, and Mark doing karaoke with various members of my family! Such amazing memories.  

The morning after  

This was when we got really emotional, I cried my eyes out when we got in the car to go home as I didn’t want to leave!! We had a lovely breakfast with our parents and siblings which was just what we needed, it was relaxing and delayed the inevitable hangover.  

What your guests said  

That ours was the best wedding EVER!!!  

What makes Gorcott Hall unique?  

The surroundings are beautiful and the space is amazing, but really it is the team and family feel to the venue that makes it so special.  

Would you recommend us?  

In heartbeat without hesitation – absolutely yes! In fact, we’re hoping that one of our friends or family will get married at Gorcott one day just so we can experience it all again!  

Image Credit

Images courtesy of Nick Brightman Photography, if you want to check out more of his work or want to book him for your wedding you can find him at https://nickbrightman.com/

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How an impulse purchase became Warwickshire’s favourite wedding venue.

The year was 2004. Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, had one friend. England exited major championship in knockout stages, on penalties. Single mum Allie Foxon attended auction for crumbling 469-year-old Grade II* listed house on the Warwickshire border, and won. She thought the renovation might take a weekend or two… Boy was she wrong!

Building a wedding venue…and happy memories

Fast forward a few weeks. Armed with a steely determination and a team of dedicated tradespeople, Allie was ready to set about the project to end all projects. Her first goal was simple: save the house. Years of neglect and vandalism meant Gorcott Hall had been placed on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register. Everything that could be saved was saved, and painstakingly renovated. If it was scrubbable, it was scrubbed. Hand carved panelling, which had been strewn everywhere by vandals, was lovingly restored. A 400-year-old fireback revealed itself to be a spectacular piece – hand crafted by a Blacksmith in celebration of the birth of young Edmund Chambers way back in 1609. The non-existent roof was painstakingly restored with 27,000 English Heritage approved tiles, hand drilled. Every exquisite leaded window was replaced, courtesy of some of Britain’s finest master craftsmen. The eye-watering sums of money required to restore a historic building meant that progress was often a little slower than planned, but slowly, little by little, room by room, this breathtakingly beautiful, quirky, stubborn old pile came back to life. The help Allie had, and continues to have, comes via people who fall in love with Gorcott, and as a result love working here. It helps, a lot.

So, the “two-week” renovation plan had slipped behind schedule a little… Only by around five years or so. But, by 2009, the main house had been completely transformed. Modern additions, like the heating system and all the hi-tech stuff required to take a home well into the 21st century, were in place – not that you’d know by looking. (Functional stuff is there to function, not to be seen.) Décor and furniture were chosen with an extraordinary eye for detail. The idea was that every time someone visited, they would remember something different. Gorcott Hall was back to her former glory – eager to take the next visitor’s breath away.

Gorcott Hall Renovation
The iconic entrance of Gorcott Hall mid-renovation

In June 2009, for no reason in particular, and launching we’re not quite sure what, a launch party was held. A few ideas were tossed around: conference centre, venue for corporate get togethers… Nah, where’s the fun in that!? Because if there’s one thing Gorcott is good at, it’s having fun. The opportunity to host the first wedding presented itself when a friend of Allie’s uttered the immortal words: “You’ve got a wedding venue here, Al”. By serendipitous coincidence, aforementioned friend was on the hunt for a venue for her own wedding. Let the planning commence! The barn was cleared of hundreds of years of rusty agricultural junk, a temporary license was granted, and enough booze to sink a battleship was purchased. As it turned out, battleship-sinking quantities were nowhere near sufficient, and to this day we’re grateful that Tesco is open 24 hours a day!

Everyone involved in that momentous day, from the happy couple to the guests, the family, the suppliers, and of course our team, loved every minute. It gave us a real taste for what the place could become. So, the plan evolved. With every event we hosted at Gorcott back in those early days, we learned. We learned that as a team, we’re performing at our best when we’re having (almost) as much fun as the guests. We learned that limiting the number of events we hold per year is crucial – it keeps our team fresh, and it keeps things personal for our couples. Most importantly, it’s keeps Gorcott Hall exclusive for our wonderful couples, in every sense of the word.

And the memories keep coming…

Eighteen years on, we aren’t resting on our laurels. We never have. Stand still and you go backwards. Our season runs from spring through to autumn, and every winter there’s a pet project. Sometimes it’s mundane but necessary, like extending the car park or carrying out major tree surgery. More often though it’s something exciting, like our stunning new Gown Suite. 487 years after the foundations of Gorcott Hall were laid, we’re determined to push forwards.

One day, we’ll pass the baton onto the next generation. They’re already champing at the bit, involved in every wedding we hold; working, watching, learning, having fun. But while we’re still having as much fun as we do, they can wait a little while longer. Because we’re not going anywhere just yet!

If you’d like to come and see our lovely home, our doors are always open to show people around so get in touch to arrange a visit.

Tying the knot during a global pandemic

Planning a wedding at any time is a rollercoaster ride of excitement. A few nervous turns and all the mega highs you can dream of, but planning a wedding during a global pandemic has certainly added a few unexpected bumps along the way. But, fear not, weddings post Covid, are no less wonderful, they just take a little extra planning and consideration and we are going to share some tips to help create your wedding, your way…safely!

For the thousands of couples that have had to postpone their weddings, we are all excited to finally be allowed to celebrate with family and friends. As we continue along this less than smooth ride out of lockdown, we remain cautiously optimistic that things are going to return to normal, albeit a slightly modified norm.

WEDDING SAFETY (DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME – THE POLICE)

We all know this virus isn’t going to just magically disappear, but with a few jabs, some comical face masks and a test or two we are learning to live with it. As a responsible venue, we want to do everything we can to ensure the wellbeing of our guests and have put a number of measures in place. We like to call it ‘subtle safety’, no massive signs and luminous sanitising stations, just tasteful bits dotted around so you know we are taking care of you.

OUTDOOR WEDDINGS (DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT – TOPLOADER)

The great outdoors is becoming a popular 2021 wedding theme. As some guests still feel slightly nervous about attending larger gatherings, outdoor space offer peace of mind in the fresh air. Did you know we have built a rather spectacular pergola for this very reason, and of course, who doesn’t love getting married under an arch of fabulous flowers? 

Outdoor Wedding

POST-COVID WEDDING RECEPTIONS (WEDDING SONG – BOB DYLAN)

So, the limit on numbers has finally been lifted and you can invite everyone to your wedding (well not everyone, but you know what we mean), but social distancing is still important. A big part of your special day is what happens after you say ‘I do!’ The strictest rules have now been dropped, but there have never been rules about speeches, so all the embarrassing stories about what you got up to at uni are still bound to be spilled – brace yourself ????

A BIG PARTY! (DANCING QUEEN – ABBA)

After all the restrictions we have been living with, I’m pretty sure everyone is ready for a big party! Sadly, dancing on the dance floor and super loud singing is still officially on the no-no list. But nobody wants to have to do a seated shuffle to the music, so you can still have a jolly good razzle with just a few adjustments and still stay within the rules. And with any luck, in a couple of weeks traditional parties with all the singing and all the dancing will be back in full swing.

ZOOM GUESTS (VIRTUAL INSANITY – JAMIROQUAI)

With the current travel restrictions and uncertainty, there are still going to be some of your guests who are unable to attend your special day in person. Here is where Zoom comes into its own…Why not send your guest a ‘wish you were here’ package with some fizz and cake so they can toast you along with everyone else? Just make sure you get someone who is vaguely tech savvy to set up the Zoom party, we all know how that one goes when it’s left in the wrong hands.

As you can see, you can still have the most sensational celebration on your wedding day, you just need to be prepared for some tiny tweaks with safety in mind. We will help you plan your day so it’s everything you dreamed of and more, we have got you from ‘I do’ to ‘adieu!’


Looking for a wedding venue in a fantastic rustic setting? You can have the perfect day at Gorcott Hall. Enquire online today to book your personalised viewing.

Gorcott Gets a Makeover

Welcome back weddings! Oh, how we have missed you! It’s certainly been a challenging year, but while the world has been on pause, the Gorcott Hall team has been hard at work, making many changes and upgrades to our gorgeous venue to make it picture perfect for your special day!

So… as you know, our pretty country pile is antique to say the least, and while vintage is absolutely ‘en vogue’, a building which has already celebrated a quincentenary (that’s 500 years in case you were wondering) needs a little special attention from time to time.

With nothing but time on our hands waiting for the dreaded Covid to ‘shove off’ and Bojo to make a few important decisions on when we can all gather again to celebrate the union of two people in love, we rolled up our sleeves, and got cracking on some home improvements which we think are pretty epic.

The Red Earth No.64 Farrow & Ball made an appearance and floors were sanded and varnished ready for the razzle to return. We pulled out all the stops on some outstanding new outdoor furniture for balmy summer evenings, and the car park was expanded to cater for our larger celebrations. Everything has been spruced up to perfection – it takes more than a little spit and polish to make this kind of magic.

Our gardens, which have always been spectacular, got some extra special attention with the planting of eight cherry trees and the addition of 400 willows around the pond. And just in case Ted gets lonely during his daily dip, we added a huge hippo to the lake. He’s a friendly fellow by all accounts and can be seen bobbing around just above the surface enjoying the views and waiting for our guests to spot him.

Now all we need is for all you loved up folk to press play on the festivities and help bring our fabulous venue back to life.

November 30, 2020 by Mark Wasley 0 Comments

Introducing…our Bridal Gown Suite

Our stunning new Bridal Gown Suite is now complete – just add your bridal party!

Gorcott Hall Bridal Suite

Nestled in a charming and rustic granary barn dating back to 1803, yet full of everything the modern bride could need, this beautiful dedicated preparation area provides the perfect location to start your wedding day. Over 300 square feet of luxurious airy space is at your disposal. We’ll open the doors at 9:00AM on your most special of days to give you the most relaxing start possible. 

You’ll need to see it first hand to fully appreciate what’s on offer here – we’ve worked really hard to make sure everything you and your bridal party might possibly need is available, with even the smallest touches sprinkled with a generous helping of Gorcott Hall magic.

What’s Included

  • Beautifully decorated – a wonderfully spacious and social area
  • Huge comfy sofas for relaxing
  • Multiple styling stations for styling your hair and makeup
  • Bathroom area incorporating two spacious showers, dual sink vanity unit, underfloor heating, private loo.
  • Raised, beautifully lit dais  with space for you to hang your dress – the perfect platform for a photo opportunity once you’re ready to say ‘I do’!
  • Reserved parking adjacent to the suite for you and your suppliers.
  • Complimentary superfast WiFi
  • Integrated sound system
  • Your own kitchen area – we’ll stock the fridge with Prosecco and snacks
  • Patio area
  • Discrete exit for the big arrival for outdoor ceremonies
  • Convenient access to the courtyard for your wedding cars to whisk you off to a church ceremony

Get in Touch

This really has been a ‘labour of love’ for the entire team here. We’re proud of it and we can’t wait for you to see it up close and personal. Get in touch with us today for further information and details around our wedding venue in Worcestershire.

Allie & Mark

November 11, 2020 by Mark Wasley 0 Comments

How to choose the best Best Man

This is the easy part, right? Your best man is just your best mate, or perhaps your brother? Maybe, but it’s not always that straightforward. Your best man needs to be more than just some guy who is capable of not losing a ring and stringing a few words together after your wedding breakfast.

Choosing Your Best Man

First up, being Best Man is an honour. And that in itself puts you, as the groom, in a huge position of power. Use this power wisely! Tempting as it might be, don’t just automatically go with the guy who offers to take you to Vegas on your stag do. While he might be the ultimate party animal and organiser of legendary lads’ trips abroad, what will he be like on the big day itself? Is he going to be capable of responding to a last-minute crisis, helping your day run as smoothly as it possibly can, or is he more likely to hilariously filling your Calvins with Deep Heat while you’re taking your last shower as a single man?

Often overlooked in the best man selection process is what I like to call ‘Bride to be Blessing’. Her opinion counts lads, it’s her big day too and she won’t want it wrecked by Smiffy from Thursday night 5-a-side being so wasted he can’t manage a single word of his speech. The other side of this coin though is that she’ll most likely be in favour of you choosing that lad from Uni she likes. he’s teetotal, and thinks a wild night involves staying up until Midnight watching Simpsons repeats. Avoid.

So, if you’ve got a mate/relative that’s fun, has got your back, but most importantly is totally reliable, sign him up. Now. But might be still worth checking your Calvins on the big day?

Get in Touch with Gorcott Hall

For further advice, get in touch with Gorcott Hall today. We are here to help you with anything you need, whether you want to find out more about our amazing barn wedding venue in Worcestershire and our facilities, or just want some advice on what outfit you should go for. We are here.

If music be the food of love…

We love a bit of music in this house. Well, most of us do, Allie listens to James Blunt.

Swiftly moving on… music is a really important part of your big day, and we can help. It’s not just about the song you walk down the aisle to, or your first dance, or having Sex on Fire blasting out at a quarter to midnight; music can be around you for the whole day.

Choosing Your Wedding Music

Let’s say you’re marrying in a civil ceremony at 2:00 PM, we’ll be serving your welcome drinks at 2:30 PM. Chances are there’ll have been guests arriving since 1:30 PM. Your ceremony takes 30 minutes or so, and we’ll generally be calling you over for your wedding breakfast sometime around 4:45/5:00 PM. So, there’ll be around three or four hours for you to meet and greet your guests, while they enjoy their canapes and drinks and the photographer does their thing.

Now, if you love live music (and who doesn’t), you might be thinking about hiring a professional outfit to provide some lovely background music for the afternoon. Great! I used to be a bit of a musician myself and always loved playing at weddings. We’ve had all sorts of wedding musicians here over the years – choirs, harpists, acoustic duos, sax players… but they do, of course, come at a cost. And, there’s the question of where they set up for maximum impact.

So, what’s the alternative? Well, if you’ve ever visited Gorcott Hall wedding venue in Worcestershire, you’ll have probably noticed we always have music playing in the house. We’ve got a fabulous networked sound system here, with music being piped throughout the downstairs of the hall, and also into the gardens. So why not make (free) use of this, and curate your own, personalised wedding playlist? You’ll have a load of fun (and maybe a few fights!) putting it together, and all you need to do is send us a link to your playlist (Spotify or Apple Music) a few days before your big day. We’ll download it onto our system (we don’t stream it, just in case we happen to lose the broadband on the day), and look after everything else for you. You’ll need up to four hours of music (around 60/70 songs).

So, what will you choose? Make it personal, make it special to you two, and make it memorable. Want a few ideas for wedding music?

Wedding Music Ideas

  • What was the song you first danced together to?
  • What was number one when you were both born (https://www.thisdayinmusic.com/birthday-no1)
  • What song makes you both go a bit gooey because it reminds you of a special time, a special place, or a lost loved one? (or just each other)
  • When you’re apart, and you’re missing one another, what song makes you think of the other?

Here’s ours:

  • Cruel Summer by Bananarama (ask your parents)
  • Mark – Hey Jude by The Beatles, Allie – Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys (also, ask your parents)
  • How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
  • Anything by Bear’s Den reminds Allie of Mark, Breakeven by The Script reminds Mark of Allie (don’t read too much into the lyrics here though!)

Get in Touch with Gorcott Hall

So, come on, it’s never too early to start. You can start messing around with this now. If you get bored of a tune later on you can always change it. Oh, and I won’t judge. All music is art.

Unless, of course, it’s by James Blunt.

Get in touch with Gorcott Hall today to find out more about our wonderful barn wedding venue in Worcestershire and what we can offer you.

A home fit for a Queen

Did you know that Elizabeth I once visited Gorcott Hall, sometime in the early 1560s? There’s plenty of archive information to back this up, and she even donated a fabulous stained glass window as a thank you.

History of Gorcott Hall Wedding Venue

So, what was she doing here? Let’s have a quick history lesson first. Well, Elizabeth, the ‘Virgin Queen’ was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Dad got a bit bored with Anne (his second wife), so he had her head removed when our Liz was still a toddler. She’d only just reached her teenage years in 1537 when lovely old Henry also popped his considerable clogs. Gorcott Hall was a new build then, construction has started on the current main Hall just two years earlier. Things got a bit messy for the Tudors around this time: Kings and Queens came and went while the Tudors decided whether they were Catholic or Protestant, and, in 1554, young Liz did a stretch in the Tower of London for supposedly supporting an anti-royal rebellion.

But, by 1558, Elizabeth inherited the throne when her half-sister “Bloody Mary” died. She went on to rule the country over some key events in history – the Spanish Armada, and the colonisation of America. She was a hugely popular queen, but she never married. Which brings the story to Gorcott….sort of.

Now, there was a dashing young man called Robert Dudley who Liz had known since childhood. We’ll call him Bobby D. He was the Earl of Leicester and his home was Kenilworth Castle, not too far away from us. He was, by all accounts, fairly unhappily married to a poor lass called Amy. In 1560, aged just 28, Amy “fell” down a flight of stairs at home, breaking her neck and bringing an untimely end to her time as Mrs D. Her death caused a huge scandal at the time, with many people suspecting Bobby D of giving her a nudge downstairs. This meant that any form of relationship between Liz and Bobby would have been hugely unpopular. So, it appears they conducted their romance in secret.

It seems likely that it was during one of these secret liaisons that Liz came to Gorcott. We’re not quite sure who invited the Queen here, but it’s probable that it was arranged by one of the Throckmorton family, good mates with the Queen and owners of a fairly spectacular pad up the road in Coughton. We’ll assume that the Yardley family, who owned Gorcott at the time, made Liz very welcome, given that she had the stained glass window made at the not inconsiderable expense. Or maybe that was the price for their silence! If word ever got out that Liz and Bobby were dating, the fallout would’ve been huge.

Liz never married Mr Dudley or anybody else for that matter. She had plenty of offers, but died a spinster in 1602, having ruled over one of the most exciting periods in our history.

Fit for a Queen

Is Gorcott Hall a home fit for a queen? History says yes, and who are we to argue? Shame we weren’t running weddings here back then, we’d have loved to have seen Liz and Bobby rocking out on the dance floor.

Author’s disclaimer: I am by no means a Tudor historian, but I do have a GCSE in History as well as access to Wikipedia.

Get in Touch with Gorcott Hall

To find out more about our wonderful wedding venue in Redditch, get in touch with us today. Whether you want a quote or just want to find out more about our amazing facilities such as our barn wedding venue, we are here to help.