Bassmead Manor is a large, moated farmhouse that has been in the Squire family since 1845.
The Grade II listed farmhouse was built circa 1350, with further additions made in the Tudor, Queen Anne and Georgian eras. The moat, which was dug out in the 1300s and is a Scheduled Monument, is 12 metres wide and encircles 2.5 acres around the house and farm yard. After deciding to transform the farm buildings into use for the wedding industry, the challenge facing owners Richard and Cordelia Squire was how to develop Bassmead Manor as a front-runner in a competitive industry.
Bassmead Manor joined Country House Wedding Venues’ portfolio of 150 exclusive properties over ten years ago, using the 300-year-old ‘Rickety Barn’ and a marquee within a modern grain store to host weddings receptions. The wedding business was run alongside farming operations and was restricted in numbers and potential by the dual use of the site and limited facilities.
Then in 2013, in discussion with Country House Wedding Venues, Richard and Cordelia embarked on an ambitious restoration and development project that involved relocating the farm yard, redeveloping existing old buildings and extensive new building to create a high volume, exclusive venue. Grant funding was secured from the Rural Development Programme for England and full backing was given by English Heritage and local authority planning and conservation officers.
Country House Wedding Venues worked closely with the Squires, advising on how best to approach the expansion and relaunch, building the business and funding case, introducing VAT consultants, planning the scheme to realise the site’s full potential and introducing Lewandowski Architects who designed and managed the build.
Bassmead Manor Barns was relaunched with exclusive catering, venue and event management provided by Galloping Gourmet and with CHWV providing the full sales and marketing service. CHWV completed a full relaunch and rebranding of the venue, with a new website, new brochure, collateral, pricing, and a new sales and marketing strategy, bringing Bassmead Manor into CHWV’s existing sales pipeline and featuring the venue on our main site, GG installed new commercial kitchens, built a new team of local staff, created new menus and collateral with CHWV, and launched the venue with support from GG’s central venue support teams.
Since we launched Bassmead Manor Barns as an exclusive wedding venue the number of weddings held at the venue has increased dramatically. In 2014, its opening year, we held 29 weddings and this has increased year on year with 180 wedding bookings for 2017.
Bassmead Manor Barns has earned its reputation as one of the foremost wedding venues in Cambridgeshire and contributes substantially to the local economy. The venue has an excellent reputation within the industry winning Countryside Wedding Venue of the year at this year’s Wedding Industry Awards.