The Story of Rise Hall

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Joel Skingle

Image Joel Skingle Photography

 

The Story of Rise Hall

 

Rise Hall’s restoration story is one which graced the screens of Britain and won the hearts of countless bride and grooms throughout the country. It’s a warming tale which shines through into each and every wedding that Rise Hall is lucky enough to be home to and one which we’re proud to tell.

We’ve picked the brains of Rise Hall’s proud owners, Sarah Beeny and Graham Swift, to learn how and why Rise Hall’s renovation came to be, as well as some never before heard tales of discoveries along the way…

 

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Joel Skingle

Image Joel Skingle Photography

 

What inspired you to renovate Rise?

 

Sarah: We were 27 and 28 when we bought Rise Hall. I know it sounds a bit blasé, but it was good value and we had no responsibilities. We both have a love of old buildings and knew that we could put our heads together and make something really amazing from it.

 

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Joel Skingle

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Image Joel Skingle Photography

 

How did you find out it was on the market?

 

Sarah: The whole ‘buildings at risk’ issue is one which we became more and more fascinated in. Effectively the relationship between Listing a building and its end use meant that there were buildings that came with a lot of problems that needed resolving and that was something we found an exciting challenge. We started to really track all buildings at Risk but when we found Rise Hall we knew it was a project we could take on so held our breath and went for it. We first heard of it in the Yorkshire post though.

 

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Ally Byrom

Image Ally Byrom

 

Did you always envision it being a wedding venue?

 

Graham: We had to really consider a use for the building as the back of the house was in much worse condition than the front and needed a far more comprehensive renovation or it was in danger of collapsing. We had already completely re-roofed the main part of the house and decorated parts so we could use it as our home initially. I think the decision to have Rise as a wedding venue started really from requests that came in off their own back even before the renovation was complete!

 

How long did it take to renovate start to end?

 

Graham: Excluding the roof it took approximately 2 years to do the main bulk of the work as shown on the TV show ‘Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare’.

 

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Ally Byrom

Image Ally Byrom

 

Did you hit any serious snags along the way?

 

Sarah: Renovating a house like Rise will always throw up many snags along the way, but really because it was built so solidly in the first place we just tried to respect the building and adjust it to work for modern life, well perhaps modern parties more accurately.

 

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Joel Skingle

Image Joel Skingle Photography

 

Did you use any unusual or uncommon materials when renovating?

 

Graham: I think if anyone takes on a project like Rise, you will generally respect its architectural heritage. Part of that is visual and part is the materials used. It was more of a restoration, but the balance to keep conservation groups happy and implement all the essential modern safety and building regulations was occasionally a bit tricky. It is listed grade 2 star listed property, so it is considered a building of national importance. However, even if the English Heritage and the conservation department had let us, I am not sure we could have lived with ourselves if we had put UPVC replacements in the 140 windows!

 

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Joel Skingle

Image Joel Skingle Photography

 

How long after completing the work did you host your first wedding?

 

Sarah: We hosted our first wedding really before the whole house was completed. The dining room, for example, was still storing old bits of furniture and building materials, and the ballroom still had brick walls. But the main body of the house was done.

 

What’s your favourite spot in Rise?

 

Graham: My favourite spot at Rise depends on the time of day and my mood! I asked Sarah to marry me on the roof watching a sunset. The sunsets in East Yorks are fantastic, like none I have ever seen anywhere else.

 

Sarah: I love the grounds as the kids just run wild climbing trees, wading in the pond. On a sunny day we won’t see them until they get hungry. I love sitting out on the south lawn (sorry, everything needs a name to distinguish it from the other lawns/rooms or you would never find anything or anyone!) looking over the park with its old trees and mixture of wildlife and livestock.

 

We have had so many fun nights in the dining room with friends. I love the humour of the pub. Graham always wanted to have his own pub and Rise gave us the space to do it properly! I also love the staircase, it reminds me of old technicolour movies that I always wanted to live inside!! But I think really we would both say that the room in Rise that we love the most is the library. We have so many memories of Christmases with family and loved ones some of whom are no longer with us, and sitting by the fire into the small hours putting the world to rights, finding the solution to the world’s ills only to have forgotten the next day!

 

Rise Hall Wedding Venue Yorkshire Exclusive Use Country House - Ally Byrom

Image Ally Byrom

 

What’s your favourite story about Rise?

 

Sarah: I do remember being half amused and half embarrassed when after we had bought Rise, we were looking round a National Trust house and a lovely old lady was explaining why there were servants bells in a room, and my rather precocious 4 year old said “we have those in all our rooms too, but our house is a bit bigger than this one”!!

 

 

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