Prince Charles reveals plans for new wedding venue at Dumfries House

Prince Charles has announced plans to build a luxury wedding venue in the grounds of his Scottish stately home.

Dumfries House. Picture by JANE BARLOW
Dumfries House. Picture by JANE BARLOW

The state-of-the-art facility is to be built at Dumfries House near Cumnock in Ayrshire to provide high-end wedding packages.

Weddings are currently held at the estate in a marquee which has been erected next to the main house.

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However the tent is thought to detract from the character of the A-listed building, which the heir to the throne helped save for the nation, and the new venue will be built in surrounding woodland.

Prince Charles. Picture: Getty Images
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It will cater for up to 200 guests and plans have also been lodged for a new walled garden to be built next to it.

The Princes of Wales, whose son Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday, helped arrange a £45 million deal to buy Dumfries House and its collection of Chippendale furniture.

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He led a consortium of charities and the Scottish Government to make the purchase in 2007, with his own charitable foundation contributing £20 million.

The plans have been lodged with East Ayrshire Council by The Prince’s Foundation and a decision is expected to be made next month.

A design statement submitted by the prince’s representatives states: “Event hosting is vitally important to the survival of all that goes on within Dumfries House Estate and farther afield.

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“Income generated by wedding and corporate event hosting is essential to the day to day running of the Estate and the wide range of educational programmes that run throughout the year.

“The primary function of the new pavilion is to provide a venue for weddings, unique in character and of the highest quality.

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“The reception and banqueting spaces will accommodate up to 200 guests, with state of the art facilities to the rear providing service and support.

“As part of the wedding venue, the external space created around the pavilion is very important. The garden is an extension of the interior and provides a private area for guests to spill out onto. As viewed from inside, the gardens provide an ornamental outlook, with the backdrop of the mature woodland beyond.”

Princes Charles is also bidding to create a haven for red squirrels in the grounds of the estate.

It will also be turned into a visitor attraction with raised walkways built around the squirrels’ habitat for the public to view them.

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The prince is patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust has previously spoken of his love of the wild animals and is keen to save them from threats to their survival.

The 18th century property, designed by the Adam brothers, was put up for sale by its former owner, the aristocrat and former F1 racing driver Johnny Dumfries.

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It opened to the public in the summer of 2008 following intensive restoration work.

Princes Charles recently merged four of his charities focusing on culture, heritage, built environment and community education into one foundation based at Dumfries House.