First wedding at Preston Manor
Rick Clifford and Penny Tamkin made a little bit of history when they became the first couple to marry at Brighton’s Preston Manor.
The pair tied the knot in front of family and friends in a ceremony in the dining room of the manor, which is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council.
For Rick and Penny the historic house, which is next to Preston Park, was the ideal choice of wedding venue. They live nearby and know the manor well, passing it daily on their walks with their dog Willow in the park.
Rick said: “We’ve been a couple for 30 years and have lived near Preston Manor for 20 of them. It’s a lovely venue and because it is very local we felt it was somewhere we could relate to.
“We didn’t know when we booked the wedding that we would be the first people to get married there, so we were quite surprised and pleased.”
Councillor Ollie Sykes, lead councillor for City Services, said: “Preston Manor is a charming wedding location and we are delighted to congratulate Rick and Penny on their marriage.”
He added: “The manor is one of a number of historic and unusual council-owned buildings in the city which are licensed for weddings, including the Royal Pavilion and the seafront bandstand which are very popular venues, and the old police cells at Brighton Town Hall which is a new venue."
Preston Manor dates back in parts to the 18th century and is decorated and furnished in Edwardian style with elegant ‘upstairs’ reception rooms and bedrooms and ‘downstairs’ kitchens and servants’ rooms. The dining room where ceremonies are held has views across the croquet lawn and the park.
The house and gardens were home to the Stanford family for 130 years before being bequeathed to the council, and it is now open to the public and used for educational tours and group visits. It also has an unlikely claim to fame as being regarded the most haunted house in Brighton and featured in an episode of TV’s Most Haunted – but the reputation of ghostly goings on did not faze Rick and Penny.
The couple kept their wedding celebrations local with a reception at home followed by a party in the Rotunda café in Preston Park.
Notes to editors:
Registrars from the council's register office have conducted 928 marriages and 33 civil partnerships so far this year. Find out more about the register office and weddings in Brighton & Hove: