Notley Abbey’s history tells a wonderful story, one of which you could be part if you choose to host your day at this very special, exclusive use, country house wedding venue in Buckinghamshire. Taking its name from the nut trees in the surrounding woods, Notley (or Nutley) Abbey was frequently visited by Henry V in the 15th Century. In in the early 16th Century, Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey would stay at Notley Abbey on their way from London to Oxford. During the dissolution of the Monasteries, which resulted in the creation of the church of England with Henry VIII at its head, the final Abbot, Richard Ridge, signed the Abbey and grounds over to the Crown. At this point, the estate was sold to a Protestant family and has remained in private ownership ever since. With its historic features and magical setting, Notley Abbey is a must-see wedding venue. The virtual tours above will give you, we hope, a little taste of the magic but, of course, they cannot truly represent the magic and romance that so many centuries of history give. If you like what you see, we would strongly recommend a visit – it only gets better!
In 1944 Sir Laurence Olivier and his wife, Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind) moved in to Notley Abbey. As a couple, they hosted many decadent celebrity parties, hosting guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Bette Davis, Tennessee Williams, Katherine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons, Burt Lancaster, Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Noel Coward, Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrich, to name but a few. Laurence Olivier once said, “Of all the houses I’ve lived in over the years, Notley is my favourite. It was absolutely enchanting, and it enchanted me. At Notley I had an affair with the past. For me it had mesmeric power; I could easily drown in its atmosphere. I could not leave it alone, I was a child lost in its history. Perhaps I loved it too much, if that is possible.”
We want you to fall in love with Notley Abbey as much as the great Laurence Olivier once did, and it can all begin with your virtual tour. Step through each room and imagine how your wedding day set up could look; from an intimate wedding ceremony in the Abbot’s Hall to a lavish wedding reception filled with historic grandeur in the Monks’ Refectory. The dreamy bridal suite and 8 further bedrooms within the house and its magnificent grounds will complete your day and the service that you’ll receive when booking an exclusive use wedding venue with Bijou will be second to none.