For more than 500 years, they’ve been the setting for some of the city’s most lavish love stories and sumptuous celebrations.
And today couples in Leeds searching for a wedding venue with a difference can tie the knot in the stunning surroundings of some of the city’s most historic sites.
Temple Newsam House, Lotherton Hall and Thwaite Mills will all be hosting wedding ceremonies this year, giving brides, grooms and guests the chance to follow in the footsteps of celebrated aristocrats and their families.
Set in 1,500 acres of landscape Temple Newsam has three rooms for holding ceremonies, including the spectacular Great Hall, which has been used for feasting and celebrations for 500 years.
The Dining Room, lined in oak panelling, is overlooked by a spectacular overmantel bearing the arms of Mary Queen of Scots, while the Still Room, located in one of the oldest parts of the house, was originally used to make preserves and beverages.
Lotherton’s Edwardian country house was once home to a number of prominent Leeds couples and families such as The Gascoignes, Nevilles and de Hothams.
Today, the house’s Drawing Room, which comes complete with two historic Erard pianos and a harp made in the 1840s, can hold civil ceremonies, while the Servants’ Hall hosts drinks receptions.
Grade II listed Thwaite Mills is one of the last remaining examples of a working water mill anywhere in Britain and is nestled on an island in between the Leeds/Liverpool Canal and the River Aire.
The museum has a number of spaces licensed for ceremonies, including the iconic wheel room, warehouse and orchard mini pavilion, with options for receptions including the hire of grounds, buildings and marquees.
Jen Boyle, 31, and her husband Patrick, 30, were married at Thwaite Mills last year, traveling to the ceremony by canal boat.
Jen said: “We had a magical, relaxed wedding reception at Thwaite Mills. From traveling there on a canal boat to exploring the museum, 1940s house and beautiful grounds, with the mill wheel working, we couldn’t have asked for a more atmospheric location.
“The staff were wonderful, allowing us a great deal of scope to customise our day on a limited budget.”
The island is also occupied by a Georgian house and gardens with outdoor games as well as paddocks with space for street-food style vans to park up as a catering option.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries said:
“Each of these historic sites has its own very special atmosphere and is set in beautiful, historic surroundings, making them the perfect venue for a unique and memorable wedding.
“Our museums and galleries sites already have a special place in the hearts of many people in Leeds and we welcome the chance for them to also be part of such a landmark occasion for any couple.”
Details about weddings at Lotherton can be found at: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonweddings
For details on weddings at Thwaite Mills, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/thwaiteweddings