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Turn Back Time

By June 12, 2018Features

Make sure your event goes down in history with H&E North’s guide to venues of yesteryear.

You only have one chance to make a good impression and what better way to do this than with a venue steeped in history; one where your guests will be blown away before they have even entered the building.

As attendees immerse themselves in the striking surroundings, they are given an opportunity to forget about their daily, and possibly uninspiring office surroundings, for a few hours at least. Think grand halls, beautiful listed buildings and awe-inspiring interiors, combined with modern day touches, for an unforgettable event experience.

A Setting That Sells
Whether you are organising a glitzy and sophisticated awards ceremony, a gala dinner deserving of majestic surroundings or an Instagram-worthy Christmas party, historic venues lend themselves to an array of events. They also provide the perfect setting to ‘theme’ an event.

Take, for example, Barley Hall in York – a medieval townhouse originally built around 1360 by the monks of Nostell Priory. As well as being a popular tourist attraction, it is used for corporate and private events, with many opting for the hall’s medieval banquet experience.

“What really separates a heritage venue, like Barley Hall, is the chance to have an immersive experience, as the building itself allows you to escape to another time,” comments Paul Whiting, Marketing Manager for The JORVIK Group (operators of Barley Hall). He adds, “It is about offering something unique that event professionals can take advantage of for their clients. Giving them the chance to travel back in time to medieval York is certainly a unique experience!”

Barley Hall

Stateley Surroundings
OK, so the British weather isn’t always reliable, but we can’t stop it from letting us make the most of the great outdoors.

While historic venues boast décor which is undoubtedly jaw-dropping, they often sit within scenic settings and acres of stunning grounds, and Harewood House near Leeds couldn’t be set within more auspicious surroundings. As the seat of the Earl and Countess of Harewood, this historic Georgian property is an exceptional location for private fine dining experiences, event and conferences, outdoor and corporate events. The events team can put together a bespoke package to include anything from a high-end fine dining experience in the State Dining Room complete with a twilight tour of the house, grounds and gardens and drinks on the Victorian terrace or a meeting or team away day in The Harewood Suite – a fully-equipped and modern conferencing facility.

The State Floor is a space where you will discover lavish interiors with exquisite Chippendale furnishings, providing excellent opportunities for both grand and intimate occasions, while the grounds contain a courtyard area with café, a walled garden and lakeside walks. Perhaps the ideal location for a spot of outdoor team bonding or something to get attendees out of the office and enjoying the fresh air?

The Mercure Manchester Norton Grange Hotel and Spa is set in tranquil countryside and its own landscaped grounds. However, should the weather prevent you from heading outdoors or you simply want to make the most of the amenities available inside, it also has 11 versatile function rooms. Built in 1875, you can enjoy some of the original features, while making the most of the modern touches which bring it into the 21st century.

Expressive Education

When it comes to selecting your venue, university buildings should not be dismissed. These age-old constructions are ideal for event planners that require somewhere, such as the University of York and University of Manchester, to hold an inspiring, exciting and motivating talk or dinner.

Picture holding a powerful and engaging speech enhanced further by the surroundings in which it is held. Madingley Hall – a University of Cambridge venue – is a perfect example of such a venue. As a former 16th century house, it is now a busy conference, meetings and event venue.

“Madingley Hall offers a historic venue with modern facilities, so you get the best of both worlds,” explains Rebecca Burgess, Conference and Sales Manager. “The history of the hall gives each meeting room a unique character, such as the Kings Room, which was named after Edward VII who lived at the hall while studying at Cambridge. The team here offer first-class service, a variety of catering options and a memorable experience.”

University of Manchester

Storytellers
Each historic venue has its own story to tell and if the walls could talk, well…

For three centuries, the magnificent Grade II listed Tapton Hall has formed an integral part of the Sheffield landscape. Previously home to many renowned characters, it is a building bursting with stories. Now a ‘venue for every occasion’ including seminars, workshops and exhibitions, it has been transformed over the years into a well-respected events hub.

Your event could too have its own story to tell should you choose a venue based on not only what it can offer in terms of facilities, but the personality and atmosphere it brings to an event.

Throw yourself into a rich history of days gone by and allow delegates to enjoy a venue which has withstood the test of time. We’re talking castles, museums and theatres too – the older, the better! You don’t even have to be a ‘history buff’ to appreciate the historic value of a venue.

Remember, an unforgettable venue makes for an unforgettable event. And as they say, the rest is history…

Main photo: University of York