Unbelievable UK Wedding Venue –The Restored Medieval Shilstone House

Unbelievable UK Wedding Venue –The Restored Medieval Shilstone House


I like it because It’s an extraordinarily Economical or cost effective way of making the lawns and other parts of the grounds look fantastic My name is Sebastien Fenwick and we live at Shilstone Shilstone is the result of our passion for architecture Antiques pictures and landscape Shilstone consists of the main house about 10 15 acres of gardens 500 acres of farmland rolling country fantastic views Shilstone started off as a wedding venue during one wedding a year we now do 50 odd We have two accommodation barns where people can stay. We’ve got two Gardeners looking after the grounds and making them presentable. It’s become a hive of activity We do all the building work ourselves We have a team of people of loyal contractors who have worked for us for 20 years now and They have put their heart and soul into the place and have created something which is pretty magical And as far as we’re concerned is a great success The history of the house goes back to 1066 on the site. So it’s an ancient site there was a medieval house which lasted till 1800 Then it was upgraded into a Regency house Which was mostly knocked down in 1830 because they borrowed too much money from the bank and we bought back in 97 it gave us the canvas to build The house that we really wanted Whilst it appears to be an old house, which is our greatest challenge when building it it’s got all the advantages of All new paneling new stone floors and most of all a lot of light It’s been described that when people walk into the house. It’s like a breath of fresh air The landscape was very important to us because it had to fit in With the house we were trying to create And it had these very interesting 17th century terraced gardens which were key to what we wanted to restore and have In order to help pay the bills we run a wedding business here so everything has got to look smart We’ve got to have stripes on the main lawns the valleys gotta look good In order to charge the best price for a wedding Everything has got to be right and our gardeners here work really hard at doing the lawns producing a fantastic look and the ventrac is a significant part of the success of how our grounds look We tried grazing Looked great, but he just didn’t give a good enough finish. We then looked and had demonstrations of endless different sorts of bank mowers ride on Hand mowers every sort of thing you can imagine. We bought a few of them None of them were brilliant very they’re all labor-intensive from there any one bit. One day my young son came up who was mad on machinery in YouTube and showed me a YouTube video Of something which she was called a Ventrac And I was amazed with solid-looking machine it was. With the 8 wheels it just looked as if it was incredibly stable Driver that he had he immediately showed that a valley which had been roughly grazed with sheep could be turned into an area with manicured grass We then got a bit more ambitious and took him to some old woods and I showed him a path Covered with brambles, and I said have a shot at that And I think even he was amazed that the driver went through and cut the whole lot down and created a path which looked unbelievably as if we’d been wearing it for years and I’m afraid to say very Irresponsibly I bought one on the spot Incredibly happily ever since I’m delighted saying we’ve managed to sell all the other mistakes we’ve made which is going a big way to help fund this one and We’re a complete convert and I never stop telling people about how good they are We’ve got about 500 acres here it’s all pretty steep country which makes it look so attractive We’ve got pretty extensive gardens now Which we’ve created and in a way thanks to the Ventrac we can make the gardens that much bigger Because they’re easier to maintain But the most impressive thing is the actual how is built the build quality we’ve got Fergie tractors going back to the 1950s We got a Land Rover from the 1950s and they’re all built to last and out of all the mowers we’ve had here The Ventrac will outlive them all and I am quite amazed that The Americans build such good equipment There to tempt us in the future they’ve got a extraordinary range of different attachments which will do anything from hedge cutting to different sorts of banks Road sweeping all of which are very easy to change we have one man changing the deck which takes us about two or three minutes and all these different attachments are there to put on we haven’t bought them yet, but they’re on the shopping this and I’m hoping to use As many them as possible in the future The final thing to say is the men working with it. Love driving it And without the staff being happy, it’s hopeless. It’s a dead duck As a wedding venue we are selling the dream day of people’s lives and everything has to be perfect We hope that they’re not going to get married a second time. So there’s no question saying well it’ll be better later It’s gotta be right. It’s gonna look incredible and we can’t accept any disappointments Otherwise if we do that’s the end of our business The gardens and the other activities keep it alive And the number of people we have here every day is fantastic the most important thing is my legacy is to leave it to my son that he will have a way of Remaining to live here, but the ability for the place to provide an income So it all runs itself so that it does not become a burden The old walled gardens the old terracing the valley of medieval fish ponds The recreation of all, this is the key to the success of the whole place I think it’s got an old-fashioned English look because the barns and the old farm buildings are bang next door to the house That was a much earlier arch way, which would probably been about 1500 the Gateway to the medieval house Which we’ve got hopes to put back So is there ever gonna be a point where you think it’s done? Oh never What would I do? No point in sitting around twiddling your thumbs

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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