Today’s dream venue might be new to the wedding scene but the building itself has been around for many, many years!
Yet to open its doors, acklam hall, Middlesbrough’s only Grade I listed building, is currently undergoing renovation work to restore the historic building back to its original grandeur, retaining its incredible original features from the late seventeenth century along the way.
Once open, the impressive hall will offer bespoke weddings, events, celebrations and corporate events, whilst also inviting diners to experience its two restaurants.
Keen to learn more about what Acklam Hall has to offer brides and grooms-to-be, we’ve spoken to wedding and events manager Kelly Mennear, who has given us all the details on what’s to come whilst also sharing some fabulous shots from a special bridal photo shoot which has taken place at the hall during its transformation.
Images by Gary Walsh Photography.
Tell Brides Up North about Acklam Hall, what is its history?
kelly says: From late 2015 Acklam Hall, the only Grade 1 listed building in Middlesbrough, will provide a beautiful venue for weddings, events, fine dining, serviced office accommodation and conference facilities. A new beginning for a building with a long and interesting history.
For almost two hundred years Acklam Hall was the home of the Hustler family, and since 1935 has, in various guises, been a place of learning. The hall retains many of the original architectural features created when it was first built in the late seventeenth century as well as features added just over 100 years ago by one of the finest architects of the early twentieth century, Walter Brierley.
What facilities does it have?
The hall has two restaurant settings The Dining Room for fine dining, and The Salon, which serves a brasserie style menu including afternoon teas, lunch, dinner, cake and coffee. There are three splendid function/private dining rooms which are licensed for civil ceremonies: The Boudoir, The Parlour and The Drawing Room. There is also a bridal dressing room with ensuite facilities for pre-wedding preparations and beautiful gardens and grounds, which provide stunning photo opportunities.
When will Acklam Hall open its doors for weddings and what types of weddings will it be able to cater for?
Weddings will officially take place from 1st April 2016, although we hope to have the hall open at the end of 2015. We can cater for small, intimate weddings or larger celebrations of up to 120 guests within the hall’s wedding function rooms. The Boudoir is the smallest of the rooms and can hold up to 20 ceremony guests while the The Parlour can accommodate up 60 ceremony guests. The spacious Drawing Room is deal for larger wedding parties.
Will Acklam Hall be licensed for civil ceremonies?
Yes, we will have a number of fabulous rooms for civil ceremonies. We also have St Mary’s Church located just behind the hall which is a beautiful setting for a religious ceremony. If the couple are getting married elsewhere we can of course welcome the bride and groom and their party to the hall to host their wedding reception only.
What makes Acklam Hall a special wedding venue?
Acklam Hall is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the North East of England, and as the only Grade I listed building in the Tees Valley, it provides a unique and stunning backdrop for a wedding.
Special features such as a beautiful bridal dressing room with all the facilities a bride and her bridal party will need to prepare for the big day, specially designed manicured grounds and gardens which will provide many fabulous locations for wedding photographs, and plans to resurrect a pathway through the grounds to St Mary’s Church, which will provide a picturesque and convenient way for the bride and groom and their guests to make their way to and from the ceremony. This pathway was originally used by Sir William Hustler and his family, now the bride and groom will play the role of the nobility on their wedding day and use this historical setting plus the wedding pictures will be incredible!
What sort of bride would be an Acklam Hall bride?
An Acklam Hall bride would be anyone who is looking for a truly spectacular and unique location for the wedding of her dreams. The building itself is a magnificent backdrop for a bride’s big day and the surrounding grounds offer countless opportunities for those all-important photographs. The beautiful avenue of trees and the picturesque ornamental pond are among the pretty features within the grounds. I imagine Acklam Hall brides will be attracted by the passionate and dedicated service that they will receive from the team here throughout their whole experience. We will pride ourselves on delivering a truly joyful and memorable day for every bride.
How will your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
Our dedicated team at Acklam Hall will provide bride and grooms with unparalleled service and attention to detail, everything to make their big day special. There will be an emphasis on exceptional customer service and presentation for all staff working at Acklam Hall.
We will also ensure that the team helping the couple to plan their big day prior to the wedding will be the team present on the day of the wedding to ensure everything goes to plan.
We are also planning to work with some fantastic wedding suppliers who we have a good relationship with and are trusted to provide a brilliant service.
Can guests stay over at your venue?
We do not have accommodation on site at Acklam Hall but we do recommend some fantastic hotels close by. We have made sure that the bride and her bridal party have the facilities to get ready at the hall creating a beautiful bridal dressing room complete with ensuite facilities and a salon hair wash unit for those all-important preparations!
Tell us about what catering services you will offer?
The bride and groom and their guests will dine on sumptuous dishes prepared by the very experienced Acklam Hall chefs, using the finest fresh local produce. We are happy to discuss any special requirements with the couple to make their wedding day as individual and special as they envisage.
Will you offer a choice of wedding packages?
We do not operate wedding packages but instead offer a bespoke service with flexibility on the food and beverage elements to a wedding and how the hall can be used. This should allow for more tailored and individual weddings, letting couples be as creative as they like.
How is the transformation of Acklam Hall going so far?
The refurbishment and restoration of the hall is going very well, there are often challenges along the way due to the nature of the work that is taking place, some structural, but the hall is really starting to take shape and once the rooms have been painted, carpets fitted and furniture installed it will really come back to life again. We are really looking forward to opening our doors and welcoming guests to experience what a special place Acklam Hall is.
How can our readers find out more about the venue?
Visit our website www.acklamhall.co.uk for the many ways to contact the Acklam Hall team. Viewings are currently being taken giving couples a behind the scenes look at the hall during the refurbishment.
Do you have any other news for us?
We are hoping to hold a Wedding Open Day at the venue in January and more details will be released on our website and social media soon. Also do keep an eye on our social media accounts where we will post the most up to date images and progress as it happens.