I am pleased to say that I have had some very positive meetings recently with the owners and staff team of North East luxury wedding venue Shortflatt Tower, and we hope to be working together a lot in the future.
Shortflatt Tower is a grade one listed Pele Tower set in the heart of the beautiful Northumberland countryside. This ancient private estate, with its formal walled gardens and Pele Tower, is a truly stunning backdrop for a unique Northumberland wedding. This historic North East wedding venue certainly has many hidden places for some stunning wedding photography.
Shortflatt Tower, built in 1257, is an impressive three storey Fortalis tower (larger than the usual Pele tower) with a long and interesting history. Built as a stronghold during times of war, Shortflatt Tower was designed to protect its owners and livestock: During a conflict the animals would have been brought into the ground floor, and the owners would have lived above them.
In 1305 a soldier named Robert de Reymes rebuilt Shortflatt in stone, after a fire had destroyed the original timber frame. He subsequently obtained a royal ‘licence to crenulate’ (make battlements) which established Shortflatt as a fortified building. I can’t imagine he ever dreamed that this stone tower would one day become a stunning Northumberland wedding venue and the beautiful backdrop to your amazing natural wedding photography.
During the 15th and 16th centuries Shortflatt Tower was regularly targeted by Scottish raiders, however as it still functioned as a fortalice it remained intact. A manor house was later added onto the east side of the Tower (believed to be during the 17th century).
After numerous owners, over centuries of fascinating history, Captain William Hedley inherited Shortflatt. He and his wife, made further changes to Shortflatt, banishing the animals from the tower and transforming the vaulted ground floor into a sitting room. They also put in a new internal staircase to access the first floor. Their younger son Edward Dent, a famous greyhound trainer known as Neddy Dent, then inherited Shortflatt and lived there until his death in 1927. This was another owner who helped to create the Shortflatt that we see today, hugely improving the stables and sporting facilities on the estate. When you visit the impressive Shortflatt Tower, for your North East wedding or special celebration, you will notice him depicted in several pictures throughout the house, with his famous greyhound Fullerton who won the Waterloo cup several times – the equivalent in those days of winning the Grand National.
In 1927, his son Lt Colonel William Hedley-Dent, known as Billy, inherited the property. He served in both World Wars and his wife, Renee du Cros, remembered the bombing at Bolam (the local village to Shortflatt). During the Second World War, Billy and their two sons were on active duty, while Renee had many children billeted with her at Shortflatt in order to escape the possible bombing of Newcastle.
Shortflatt Tower is much the same as it was hundreds of years ago. The building’s impressive Keep with arched ceiling and 6 foot walls (supporting the stone first floor) still remain today. Originally, the first floor would have been reached via a staircase on the outside of the west wall, but unfortunately this no longer remains. Can you imagine spending your special day, celebrating your North East wedding in such an impressive historic building? Who wouldn’t enjoy the thought of their wedding day becoming another piece in the history of such an important Northumberland landmark?
Another interesting fact about this historic Northumberland wedding venue is the cup and ring stone, located in the garden wall to the right of the front door, which was found in a field to the south of the Tower. The stone (dating from 2000-1500 BC) is believed to be from a tomb of a ‘very important person’. A piece of Northumberland history definitely worth looking for when you visit Shortflatt Tower for your Northumberland wedding.