Merley House in Dorset Function Venue for Weddings, Business & Private Events
Built in 1756, Merley House is a beautiful building of architectural and historical importance and lends itself as your ideal wedding venue, business function or private event venue.
Merley House, Georgian Manor House
Merley House is a three story manor that has maintained its structure for nearly three centuries. Conveniently located just one mile south of Wimborne Minster, and within easy reach of Dorset and Hampshire, it is a highly recommended venue for any kind of occasion, whether large or small, for business and for pleasure.
The north side of the building is made from gorgeous Portland stone and supports three balconies and four features pillars that hold up entablature. At the north east side of the building is a walled garden and an Orangery, which once was the home of various exotic birds. Inside there are five state rooms to choose from, a spacious classical entrance and magnificent staircase.
With dedicated event planners and in-house chefs, Merley House is the perfect setting for a wedding reception, civil ceremony, conference, corporate event or private party, offering elegance, refinement and seclusion for your special occasion.
The History of Merley House
Merley (originally spelt Myrle) was an ancient manor belonging to the Lords of Canford. In 1751, Ralph Willett purchased the estate and is responsible for the building of the larger and much grander house we see today.
Willett’s great enthusiasm for architecture led to the design of the three storey building, rendered on the north side in Portland stone, featuring three balconies and four ionic pilasters supporting the entablature. In 1772 two wings were added one of which contained the new library as Willetts vast collection had outgrown the existing library in the house. Unfortunately these two wings were demolished in the early 1800s following an auction of the books and paintings they housed by the then owner, John Willett.
A walled garden was built to the North East of the house with an Orangery on the south side. This has survived to this day and used to be known as the Merley Bird Gardens, home to many exotic bird species. It is now the Orangery Suite; a unique venue for conferences and events which can be hired in conjunction with Merley House.
In 1875 the whole estate was sold by auction but there is little information as to whom it was sold until it was bought by Ivor Guest, 1st Lord of Wimborne. In 1927, the MP for South Dorset, Angus Valdemar Hambro purchased the estate in a dilapidated condition, spending two years renovating it.
In 1939 the out break of war meant that the house was requisitioned by the War office. When they left in 1946 the house was again sold at auction. Now down to just 270 acres it was sold in 14 lots and the house was converted into flats.
During the 1960s a holiday park was started, by the present owners, to help finance the restoration of the house. The ground floor was opened to the public and contained a collection of model cars, lorries, airplanes, ships and train sets. Most recently the downstairs was restored again to create spacious and elegant areas for different events and the upstairs for office space where views of Wimborne can be enjoyed.
The Rooms at Merley House
The Grand Entrance Hall
Merley House boasts a classical entrance hall that provides a great first impression for your guests. The hall features a grand fireplace and a beautiful plasterwork ceiling. This area leads to The Old Library and to our magnificent staircase which is a perfect setting for photographs.