Burtonfields Hall is an exclusive-use wedding venue with a difference. Owner William Bush talks about renovating his family home and the importance people play in its past, present and future

'William, we never had enough parties in this house.’ That’s what Will Bush, the current owner of Burtonfields Hall, recalls his father saying about their family home.

One look at the gorgeous venue, set in the countryside on the outskirts of York, confirms that the house was indeed designed for entertaining. ‘As much work as it is, the best part of having a house like this is having people in it,’ Will says.

It’s not surprising then that in 2019 the family decided to renovate the house and open it to the public as an exclusive use wedding and events venue.

Design heritage

Originally built in the Italianate style popular in the 1830s, Burtonfields Hall has since been expanded with some arts and crafts style additions.

‘The whole renovation has been done with the character of a house in mind,’ Will says. ‘My mum had lived here for 45 years before we renovated, so she knew what was going to work sympathetically with the house.’

It’s immediately obvious that a lot of attention to detail went into every aspect of the renovation, from top to bottom. And all of it was done by Will, his mother, and his wife. With both women already sharing an interest in interiors, and Will having a knack for restoration, their work was the perfect combination of skills and knowing what the property deserved quality-wise.

Great British Life: Every part of the house is for use when you hire itEvery part of the house is for use when you hire it (Image: Burtonfields Hall)

From replacing a threadbare family carpet which had been a focal point in the hall with an exact replica, (from the company who makes carpets for Windsor Castle), to using damask wallpapers similar to the originals downstairs, the family took care to preserve the style of the house, while also making every room completely unique – all the way down to the upholstery.

‘It was cathartic, spending the time and effort on the property that it deserved, and that it had been crying out for since the 50s,’ Will admits.

Family ethos

For the Bush family, caring for Burtonfields Hall extends beyond renovation. ‘We’ve not done this up for purely commercial reasons,’ Will says about turning his home into an events venue. ‘We’ve done it up for the love of the property, and the love of having people in the house.’

As a small family business, they invite guests to make themselves at home, and take great care to ensure everything is familial and personal. From Will greeting customers and giving house tours, to his mother preparing flower arrangements for every visit, everything is tended to by the family. ‘In a way, people aren’t only renting the house, they’re buying into our family heritage and becoming part of it,’ he points out sagely.

The individual approach extends to the exclusive use visitors get of Burtonfields Hall for the duration of their stay. When people come to stay, the whole place is theirs to settle into as their own. ‘We’re not your typical venue with accommodation, where the bedrooms are there just to serve a purpose,’ Will explains. ‘For us, each room in the house is as important as the next, whether that’s the room you are getting married in or going to sleep in.’

Great British Life: There are nine en suite bedrooms for guestsThere are nine en suite bedrooms for guests (Image: All rights reserved. Copyright Olivia Brabbs Photography)

Bespoke experiences

Indeed, planning an event with the Bush family business is a unique experience, quite unlike the cookie-cutter solutions flooding the hospitality scene. This is especially true when it comes to weddings.

Whether planning a small and intimate affair or a much larger celebration, each wedding will be bespoke and unique to each couple. The venue is able to host the whole of the wedding celebrations, from ceremony to reception and evening party. There’s also a dedicated wedding co-ordinator on hand and nine en suite bedrooms for key members of the bridal party to relax after the celebrations.

Because it’s a family home, that personal touch is key, something that sets them apart from their competitors. ‘We don’t have any packages,’ Will declares. ‘Everything is done to the bespoke requirements of the couple. We don’t believe in restricting their choices,’ he adds.

Great British Life: Whether it’s an intimate affair or large celebration, the hall has you coveredWhether it’s an intimate affair or large celebration, the hall has you covered (Image: Gabrielas Photography and Film)

Of course, this individual approach extends to their more corporate offering too – companies can plan customised team building events, meetings, and parties at the venue.

When asked about the future of Burtonfields Hall, Will proclaims, ‘We love people! Every event we’ve ever had, everyone has said it’s the best event [they’ve attended]. And they say how much they’ve loved dealing with us. I want that to continue.’

For more information about hiring the venue visit burtonfieldshall.com.