Do you take this stately, homely slice of classic English elegance to be your lawful wedding venue? Perhaps you should. This 400-year-old Somerset period home comes with roaring log fires and history to burn.
Tie the knot at medieval St Mary’s Church and you’ll be back at Cossington Park barely before the confetti has landed. Thanks to the wedding planners, it’s all plain sailing from here – from the wedding breakfast to the snap of the shutter around the 22 acres, to vintage tea on the lawn or an evening hog roast.
Cossington Park is stately and serene, yet it’s hospitable and homely – and quaint and quirky, too. The Tilting Yard, ha-ha and bedrooms named after door-knockers see to that. And the walled gardens, drawing room, open fires and air of medieval mystery will have your photographer in a frenzy.
A garden called The Tilting Yard, a pond called Ha-ha, an orchard, a games field – you can find it all among Cossington’s 22 acres. Want to be entertained? We can fix archery and falconry in the gardens, a hot-air balloon over Cheddar Gorge or even horse-drawn carriage rides.
Around the house you will discover: The Tilting Yard – a small, pretty garden in front of the house; the Main Garden – situated on the south side of the house and featuring a large lawn; The Kitchen Garden and Barbeque– a pleasant area for the cook’s glass of wine.
Just beyond the stable yard is the games field – a grassy area for football, basket ball, badminton, plus a children’s play area with playhouse, slide and fort. Venture further through the gardens and you can find: the ‘Ha ha’ – a large pond that separates the Main Garden from the Orchard; the Orchard – a meadow with old apple trees, mature limes, abundant cowslips, a bog garden and a wild garden; Bushey Close – a field beyond the Orchard, sometimes used for horses, archery or falconry; various ponds that are abundantly supplied with newts, including many of the endangered great crested newts; and The Walled Garden.
St Mary’s Church in Cossington drips as heavily with history as it does local stone. A firmament in the village since the time of Edward I and the earliest days of Glastonbury, St Mary’s carries a weight of history. It’s at its heaviest in original windows that have witnessed 800 years of hatches, matches and dispatches.
You’ll take the winding footpath through the pedestrian archway, beneath ancient oaks, through to the south porch. Inside, you’ll say your vows and add your chapter to the church’s weighty tome of history in front of a congregation of up to 100.
From here, after the confetti has fallen and the bridal bouquet been deftly caught, it’s just a damp-eyed stroll through quiet rural lanes to Cossington Park and to an everlasting day of drinking, dining and dancing in baronial splendour.
In the end, it’s the quirkiness you remember about your wedding day. Because different is always memorable.
When you dig out your wedding album from some old battered trunk, you’ll remember the quaint village, the imposing reception rooms, the library groaning with books, the ha-ha, the wild meadows, the orchard with mature limes and the falconry field. You’ll giggle at the bedroom names: the handles of ancient door-knockers.
But Cossington Park is party-perfect, too. The lawns beg for vintage tea and a string quartet, the roaring fires invite the warmest of toasts, and the chefs and dining room can feed 18 in stately splendour. If you booked our wedding planner, the day will flow as smoothly as the contours of the nearby Quantock Hills.
Call the place home for the weekend, summon the chef back again for a hog roast or a barbecue, pour some fizz by the roaring fires, see the real you through the eyes of our caricaturist. Cossington Park is proud, playful and primed to party.