When thinking about extraordinary venue's to feature, I noticed a lovely post on Facebook of a venue I know well, In fact it was the backdrop to a boudoir shoot I did as a gift for my husband on our wedding morning.( More about that maybe on another future blog)
I have long loved Allington Manor, my daughter went to primary school in the village and my mum and step dad had also lived in the village for many years, so it was a familiar place for me. Some years ago I was also lucky enough to attend a friends wedding there on valentine's day no less and I recalled what a stunning wedding it was. So with a Facebook timely reminder front of mind I approached Leo and Amy the owners to feature their gorgeous venue on the blog.
The earliest record of the site occupied by Allington Manor is registered in the Domesday Book, although nothing remains of the original dwelling. The oldest section of the present building where the Breakfast Room, bar and cellars are now located, dates back to 1450 when the structure was much smaller, despite the proprietor’s ownership of a third of the land in the village.
The manor house, then known as West Allington Manor, passed to affluent yeoman farmers, the Grants of the larger Danby family in the sixteenth century who went on to acquire Allington Hall and much of the land in the village in the seventeenth century. In 1660 the Grant family added the Dutch gables and the dog leg grand staircase to complete the unique house that stands today. The property only passed through two more generations though before the family fell on hard times and it was first mortgaged and then sold in 1674 to Reverend Thomas Williamson for £841.
Following its sale, the manor house remained with the Williamson family and by marriage, the Welby family for the subsequent two and a half centuries. During this time however, the structure fell into disrepair and was completely uninhabited when it was purchased in 1948 by Mr Palin who saved it from ruin after obtaining a grant to re-roof the building.
The task of restoring the property to its former glory was undertaken by the Vincent family in 1983 who are the present proprietors of the manor house.
Speaking to Leo he tells me:
"My Wife and I took over the business in our early 20’s when my father died. Since 2011 we have expanded the business and made it into the award-winning venue that it is today.
Allington Manor has been in our family since 1983 when my parents bought it. Raising my two brothers and I until 2006 it was purely our family home. When my brothers and I all left home the house was empty and my father saw an opportunity for Bed and Breakfast then later to provide weddings too. This helped pay for the upkeep and constant improvement of the property and the grounds.
We decided in 2011 as a family to keep the business going after my fathers death, as it has been our family home for most of our lives, the house has vast running /maintenance costs and running the business was the most viable option for us.
I personally love the interaction with guests on a day-to-day basis and being part of the one of the biggest days of their lives. We offer a personable service that can be missed when using larger establishments/ chains.I love hosting events and entertaining friends and this way we can do it every weekend and also earn money at the same time.
Now the house is completely self sufficient and making healthy profits too which are being constantly being reinvested into the property with big plans for the future".