The Old Barn at Old Michelmersh Farm near Romsey has held grain and machinery over the centuries but on Saturday Andy Manton and Klaudia Labus made history when they became the first couple to marry there.
The barn is a local landmark, one of a group of ancient buildings opened by the Old Michelmersh Farm Trust. Last Saturday saw the completion of its restoration – and marked a historic event for Mr and Mrs Manton.
The Old Barn has only recently been licensed to hold wedding ceremonies. It takes 60 people and can be used all year round. The two Long Barns are licensed for 200 guests and are mostly for summer use. The first ever wedding ceremony in the huge, high Long Barns was held late this summer, when Brooke Sessions and Tom King tied the knot.
The barns were built at least two hundred years ago. They were part of a working farm until the late 1970s. They then became famous when the children’s cult TV show Worzel Gummidge was filmed there. The Long Barns were the site of Worzel’s most famous episode, The Scarecrows’ Wedding, but forty years later there are no scarecrows in sight as couples sign the register.
Elaine Roberts, who runs the Old Michelmersh Farm Trust which owns these historic buildings, said: “We’ve held a few wedding receptions here for years but so many couples wanted to marry in the barns that we’ve now been granted our licence. Our style is truly rustic and many brides fall in love with the unique, wild look of the place. No matter how much tidy gardeners want us to cut the ivy, brides beg us to leave it! We’re looking forward to holding more marriage ceremonies, as well as parties, exhibitions and other events.”