Langley Priory opens a new chapter
The former Benedictine nunnery in Leicestershire, Langley Priory is being relaunched as an exclusive wedding venue to serve the growing trend for small and intimate ceremonies.A Grade II* listed property in Diseworth, near Castle Donington, Langley Priory is owned by Tim and Teri-Lee Wagstaff, who have just spent £40,000 on renovating the property ready for a new chapter in its 800-year history.
Langley has hosted weddings since 2004, but numbers were limited and the Wagstaffs had to apply to North West Leicestershire District Council for permission to expand their operation. The couple were given the green light last month, but say they still intend to limit numbers to ensure that the venue retains an exclusive feel – and because the hall will remain their home.
Langley Priory, which is set within a large estate allowing guests the freedom to enjoy rose gardens, lawns and three ornamental lakes, has a wedding ceremony room, a dining room and drawing room, which opens out onto a terrace. The renovation work has seen a number of the rooms redecorated, as well as the creation of a new bar with modern décor and a sound system.
Tim and Teri-Lee organise the weddings themselves, including preparing the rooms, greeting the guests and arranging the flowers, and Tim says they are looking forward to welcoming the increasing number of couples who are turning their backs on large-scale events in favour of more intimate weddings.
He said: “There is a very different feel to a smaller wedding and it is a growing market, either because the bride and groom are getting married for a second time or because they want to spend their budget on making it a really special day shared only with the people who are closest to them.
“We were delighted to be given permission and we can’t wait to open the house to more couples, but while we could aim to fill our diaries with as many weddings as we could, we want to limit the number of ceremonies we have here. “The reasons are firstly that this is our home but also because we don’t want to lose sense of the fact that there is something really special about getting married at Langley Priory.”
The weddings are the first of a number of projects that will see Langley make the most of its estate. It is waiting for planning permission to open a private day spa on the grounds, while further plans include a scheme to convert an unused stable block into accommodation and educational workshops.
The hall, which is Tim’s childhood home, is something of an undiscovered secret, unknown even to many people who live in Diseworth.
“We are set in a hollow, which means we can’t be seen from the main road and so we are wonderfully secluded,” Tim said. “Couples love that, it gives them the sense that the house is there just for them – which, on the day of their wedding, it is.”
To get in touch with Langley Priory, visit www.langleypriory.co.uk or call 01332 853 197