A DOWNTON Abbey-style historic hall has scooped a prestigious award naming it as the top venue in Wales to get married.

Soughton Hall in Northop, Flintshire, swept the board at The Welsh National Wedding Awards, claiming not only the title for the best venue in North Wales but clinching the top spot as the best venue in the whole of the country.

The Grade II* listed luxury wedding and events venue is owned by Elle R Leisure, a Manchester-based family firm which is well-known for its successful Dukes 92 and Albert’s Restaurants in Manchester.

The firm also owns a luxury boutique hotel called Woodlands in Leeds which specialises in weddings and is behind a massive makeover of the former Beeches Hotel in Standish, near Wigan, which is being transformed in to the fourth Albert’s restaurant in their growing leisure portfolio.

The company, owned and run by Managing Director James Ramsbottom, took over Soughton Hall in February 2016 and have since spent £400,000 completing an extensive and sympathetic renovation of the interior.

James said: “We were very proud to take over Soughton Hall and have been working very hard to transform it in to a first class wedding and events venue. It is such a special place with this amazing, rich history and it makes a real impression as you come down its magnificent driveway. We feel very privileged to own it.

“Since taking it over, we have worked hard to improve it internally so it sympathetically enhances the magic of Soughton Hall. I am thrilled what we have done has made such an impression on other people and earned us this fantastic award.

“What’s extra gratifying is that it is the couples who have got married here since we took over that have made sure we were put forward to win.

“It’s a credit to the team at Soughton Hall and it shows the dedication and thought which they put in to the wedding days we host here. I am really thrilled that their hard work has been recognised in this way.”

The Welsh National Wedding Awards have been running for eight years and aim to formally recognise the ‘tireless work, undeniable passion and complete commitment’ of businesses in the wedding industry.

Soughton Hall was built in 1714 by Edward Conway and remodelled more than 100 years later by the famous Sir Charles Barry whose iconic work includes the Houses of Parliament and Highclere Castle of Downton Abbey fame which was home to the Crawley family in the hit ITV period drama.

James said that since taking over the historic hall they had looked after more than 200 couples on their special day at Soughton Hall and already have 120 weddings booked in for 2019.

He added: “We would love to hear from couples looking to book their special day and we will always do our very best to accommodate them.”

For more information about Soughton Hall, go to www.soughtonhall.co.uk Facebook is @soughtonhall or twitter @SoughtonHall