Major refurbishments on a building have given a new lease of life to Scotland’s most famous wedding venue.
Gretna Hall has stood in the heart of Gretna Green village for over 300 years, and was made famous for hosting a series of high profile aristocratic marriages in the 1800s.
Two years ago, on 12 August, the building was acquired by Gretna Green Ltd, a family run business since 1885, and a full rebrand
and renovation of the historic building carried out.
Originally built in 1710 as a private manor house, Gretna Hall is set in 10 acres of beautiful gardens; the property boasts a total of 97 bedrooms and now offers all the character of a substantial historical building, with the comfort you would expect from a contemporary hotel.
Alasdair Houston, chairman of Gretna Green Ltd, worked with award-winning Carlisle based-firm, Unwin Jones Partnership to create a contemporary environment, with modern amenities and public areas while remaining sensitive to the original building.
Alasdair said: ‘This “grand old lady” had been showing her age after being rather unloved by previous owners before we were able to bring her back into the heart of our business at Gretna Green.
‘The historic building has a wonderful heritage which we wanted to celebrate, alongside creating the sort of timeless, stylish environment that our colleagues and guests deserve. Gretna Hall now
complements our sister hotels and is another major step forward in the elevation of Gretna Green as a world-class, international destination for business, leisure and weddings.’
The interior design is a modern interpretation of a Scottish manor house. Using eclectic design shapes, plaid and plain fabric of various textures and a colour palette inspired by the Scottish
countryside, the result is a comfortable and luxurious setting.
Highlights of the renovation include:
Individually designed bedroom suites featuring luxury amenities;
Interior design elements including new furniture, wallpaper, carpeting, and lighting in all suites and public areas;
Bespoke artwork featuring photographs, messages and historical images of the building, its visitors and romantic past;
Bespoke wallpaper inspired by the countless handwritten love notes and marriage proposals sent to the property through the ages;
Completely updated dining room and bar, offering flexible space throughout.
The original house now offers five individually designed bedroom suites, all named after famous aristocratic couples who wed at Gretna Hall during the 1800s:
Wakefield-Turner, 8 March 1826 – The infamous tale of Edward Gibbon Wakefield and Ellen Turner who Married at Gretna Hall causing
scandal in Georgian England.
Sheridan-Grant, 17 May 1835 – Richard Brinsley Sheridan, grandson of the poet Sheridan, to Marcia Maria Grant, the only surviving
child and heiress of Sir Colquhoun Grant of Frampton Court.
Queensbury-Clayton, 28 May 1840 – Lord Archibald Drumlanrig, son and heir of the Marquis of Queensbury, to Caroline Clayton,
daughter of General Sir William Robert Clayton.
Ibbetson-Villiers, 6 November 1844 – Captain Charles Park Ibbetson, to Lady Adela Corisande Maria Child Villiers, daughter of the Earl
Bourbonne-Smythe, 7 May, 1836 – Carlo Ferdinando Bourbonne, Prince of the Two Sicilies and Prince of Capua, to Penelope Cardine
Smythe: Prince Carlo was a younger brother of Ferdinand II of Naples.
Founded in 1885, Gretna Green Ltd has been a family business for over 130 years. Beginning with the Famous Blacksmiths Shop at Gretna Green, renowned for its romantic history as a haven for runaway lovers since 1754, the Gretna Green Brand continues to be a popular wedding destination for couples from across the globe.