10 of the most haunted wedding venues in the UK
05 Feb 2020
If you're looking for a spooky setting for your special day, take a look at this list of haunted wedding venues
For a wedding day with ghostly guests in attendance, these reportedly haunted wedding venues are sure to strike a chord with couples who are intrigued by the paranormal.
Walworth Castle, County Durham
A castle may seem like a fairytale wedding venue, but many of the teams will tell you stories of ghosts who continue to walk the corridors. One such venue is Walworth Castle in Darlington, a 12th century castle with rolling countryside views and facilities for both indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies. Couples can even get married in the castle's dungeons by candlelight.
It is thought that the castle is haunted by a former maid who fell pregnant following an affair with the lord of the house. The lord bricked up the maid inside a wall of the castle's spiral staircase, and to this day people have reported desperate cries emanating from behind the stone as well as frantic footsteps ascending the stairs.
Pendennis Castle, Cornwall
Part of the English Heritage group, Pendennis Castle is a romantic and historical venue for a wedding. Built as a fortress between 1540 and 1542 under the orders of Henry VIII, the castle was constructed to protect Cornwall from foreign invasion.
While ghostly sightings are less common, the sounds of footsteps rising up the staircase, childish laughter and the screams of 'Maud', a former kitchen maid, have all been reported over the years.
Above: Pendennis Castle on the Cornish coast
Athelhampton House, Dorset
Considered to be one of the most haunted houses in England, Athelhampton House is a 15th century Tudor manor house in Dorchester which is also available for weddings. The house is reportedly home to two duelling ghosts in the majestic Great Chamber, where couples can get married.
Other reported ghosts include a grey lady, Catholic priest and pet ape who was accidentally entombed in a secret passage behind the Great Chamber and continues to scratch at the walls.
Blickling Hall, Norfolk
A National Trust wedding venue, Blickling Hall is a grand setting that stands on the site of an older medieval manor. It is said that the manor was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, who was famously beheaded on the orders of her husband Henry VIII in 1536, and it is thought that her headless ghost returns on 19th May, the anniversary of her execution.
Anne Boleyn's father, Sir Thomas, and Sir John Falstofe, the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Falstaff, are also considered resident ghosts.
Above: A grand entrance at Blickling Hall
Aston Hall, Birmingham
A Jacobean manor built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte, Aston Hall is part of the Birmingham Museums group. Civil ceremonies take place in the venue's Great Hall before guests can enjoy the beauty of Lady Holte's Gardens.
It is the Holte's daughter, Mary, who is said to still be in residence, after her father locked her up in a cell at the hall for 16 years when she tried to run away with a servant. The spirit of Dick the houseboy who hanged himself after being accused of stealing is also believed to appear from time to time, as is a former housekeeper who wears a green dress and sits in a chair.
Tower of London
While not licensed for civil ceremonies, the iconic Tower of London can provide a spectacular and historical backdrop for your wedding reception. With various rooms available, depending on the size of your guest list, theTower of London is a memorable location that is thought to be occupied by a ghost or two...
With its well-known tours conducted by the Tower's Beefeaters, the ghostly tales recounted are always enjoyed by tourists and visitors. Historical figures such as Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered in 1170, has been spotted in his regalia, and the blood-curdling screams of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury who was executed in 1541 for her Roman Catholic faith, have also been heard.
One of the most famous stories is that of the Princes in the Tower, Edward V and his brother Richard, whose uncle Lord Protector: Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was appointed to protect them at the Tower of London. However, they were never seen again and it is thought that their uncle murdered them to secure his claim over the throne.
Above: Tower of London on the River Thames
Llancaiach Fawr, South Wales
Overlooking the Rhymney Valley, Llancaiach Fawr is a licensed venue which offers a scenic setting for your wedding. However, the Grade I listed manor, which was built in the mid-16th century, has received various reports from staff and visitors of strange goings on throughout the house.
Things have been heard, felt or sometimes smelt, such as odours of violets or lavender. Ghosts commonly reported include Hattie, a 19th century housekeeper, and a little boy who fell to his death from a window on the upper floor.
The venue hosts ghost tours and even welcomes paranomal investgation teams.
Ettington Park Hotel, Warwickshire
A gothic mansion set in Stratford-upon-Avon, Ettington Park Hotel was built in 1086 for the Shirley family. The 40-acre estate offers scenic grounds, while the mansion features a grand selection of interior spaces.
Not only is Ettinghton Park Hotel a charming place to wed, it also offers a fascinating history which extends to the present day with 21 spirits still reported to roam the venue. An army officer and elderly lady are among many of the unexplained sightings.
Room six of the hotel is supposed to be the most haunted, with an assistance cord in the bathroom, which operates a flashing red light to alert reception - although staff have claimed the light has flashed when no-one has been staying in the room.
Above: A wedding reception in Ettington Park Hotel's library (Ani Evans Photography)
Plas Mawr, North Wales
Located in Conwy, Plas Mawr Elizabethan Townhouse is one of the best preserved buildings of its kind. Ideal for intimate weddings, civil ceremonies can be conducted in the Great Chamber, which can accommodate up to 40 guests.
However, the tragic tale of the death of the master's wife and first child is the reason why paranormal activity is said to occur within the venue's walls. The wife, who was also heavily pregnant at the time, is said to have fallen down a dark staircase while holding hands with her toddler child. The master was away at the time and returned to discover his deceased family. Legend has it that the master's footsteps can still be heard in the room in which the bodies were found.
Smithills Hall, Lancashire
Smithills is a Grade I listed mansion near Bolton, set within landscaped gardens and surrounded by woodland. Its rural location offers a remote retreat for couples seeking privacy on their wedding day, with various rooms licensed for a civil wedding of up to 65 guests.
Yet spooky sightings are commonplace, including that of a man who appears as a reflection in a mirror and George Marsh, a Bolton farmer who was burned at the stake for his Protestant beliefs.
The on-site chapel is also a supposedly haunted venue with a praying man sighted by one staff member and another reportedly pushed with great force when she removed some dead flowers from inside the chapel.