Spotlight On… Chalk Barn
I can’t quite believe it’s been a year since I first visited, what was then Casterley Barn. So much has happened in the year, as we know we’ve had a global pandemic to contend with, but the team at Casterley used the time wisely, to reflect on the venue, it’s past and it’s future. On 12th January Casterley Barn became Chalk Barn. We spoke to Samantha Young, Event Sales & Marketing Manager to find out a little bit more about the rebrand, their ethos and what makes it’s such a special place.
The barn itself is situated in the heart of the largest Chalk Grassland in Europe. It is the foundation that the estate is built on and therefore the name itself truly encompasses the next phase of the brand’s evolution.
Estate owners, Joseph and Isabella Wookey say “It has been a difficult time for the events industry with Corona and we decided to use this time as a period of reflection. An opportunity to make positive changes to our infrastructure, brand and offering, enabling us to emerge from Lockdown stronger than ever before. We have redecorated the barn alongside putting in motion many other exciting plans for our future growth on the estate, including accommodation.
We really have poured our hearts and souls into creating a new image that would accurately reflect who we are, where we are going and what our valued guests love most about us.”
Whilst this may be a significant change, our core beliefs and values remain the same. Under this new brand we will continue our commitment to always provide the best level of service and an exceptional experience in the most beautiful and exclusive of locations.
What are the ceremony options?
Chalk is licensed for civil ceremonies, both indoors in the beautiful barn for up to 100 people or outside on the infinity lawn and terrace for up to 150 people. Either way the venue provides the most beautiful Wiltshire countryside as a backdrop.
If you’d prefer a church ceremony, there are handful of small, beautiful churches in the surrounding villages, including Rushall, Upavon, and Charlton St Peter. St John the Baptist church is also close by, in Pewsey which can accommodate larger numbers.
What about the reception?
Chalk pride themselves on being a blank canvas (although it’s got to be the most elegant blank canvas I’ve seen!), allowing couples to put their own personality and style into the decoration. Whether it’s a simplistic and elegant affair or fabulously fun, boho festival vibes, it just works.
The view out onto the lawns and beyond are just breathtaking, and can be enjoyed year round. In Summer you can enjoy dancing under the stars until the early hours. Whilst in the Autumn it’s just perfect for watching the sunset, snuggled up next to the firepit, toasting marshmallows and sipping a warm hot chocolate.
A relaxed wedding experience
Chalk Barn prides itself on creating a relaxed wedding experience. When you hire the barn for your wedding, you don’t just get the wedding day but also the day prior to for set up. It means there is no rush when it comes to suppliers setting up, and gives you the opportunity to take your time in creating your wedding day vision.
What about the food?
Chalk have a dedicated estate kitchen, creating seasonal refined food from locally sourced ingredients from local producers. They have a range of menu options, from rustic feasted to fine dining, they’re experts in tailoring menus to match your wants and needs, making sure your wedding food is something to remember. And, if you are looking for something with a slightly different vibe they have a great range of street food partners, offering everything from authentic Mexican to macaroni cheese and grown up ice cream. What’s not to love!
Glamping with a view!
For some couples there isn’t anything better than a cosy night glamping, yes… even on the wedding night. You and your guests can enjoy a peaceful night under canvas, just a hop, skip and jump away from the barn. Waking up to those amazing views and a freshly brewed cuppa.
If you’re not a fan of glamping, or are looking for accommodation in the colder months, there are lots of local B&Bs and hotels nearby.
In addition to the glamping options, from Summer 2021 you’ll also be able to stay at Brambledown Cottage, a 5 bedroomed cottage on the estate available for exclusive hire for either one or two nights. It’s the perfect place for the night before the wedding!
There will also be additional options in the Farmhouse and Lodge coming soon!
They’re passionate about sustainability too!
A key element of the Rushall Organics ethos is sustainability and Chalk Barn is no exception. They generate their own electricity from their roof-mounted solar panels, and their under-floor and hot water heating from an on-site biomass boiler.
The Barn sits in harmony with nature. The floor to ceiling windows bring the outside in showcasing the beautiful surrounding countryside.
They work with local artisan producers and their bar is stocked with organic wines and local ales.
Chalk is part of the Rushall Organics Estate, an organic farm that has been run by the Wookey family for four generations. With initial conversion to organic starting in 1970, the farm was one of the very first to become organic in the country. The core principles of the farm – sustainability, legacy and integrity – have been consistently carried through the development of Chalk Barn and form the core of all the diverse activities at Rushall.
Where is Chalk Barn and how can we find you?
You’ll find Chalk Barn in the heart of Wiltshire, in the village of Rushall, nestled at the heart of a 5,000 acre organically farmed estate. Devizes to the West, Marlborough to the North, and Amesbury to the South. That beautiful mix of rural but accessible.
All photos featured in this blog were taken by Stuart Dudleston.