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It goes without saying that every wedding is – or should be – utterly unique. Planning your wedding is a truly exciting time and we are here to ensure that your day is a special one.

Situated in a leafy area close to Teddington, Richmond upon Thames and Kingston, the Waldegrave Suite is the perfect wedding venue. With magnificent chandeliers, silk wallpaper, and ornate high ceilings, we have a variety of recommended suppliers who can help you add as much or as little as you wish, to an incredible backdrop.

We offer a varied selection of high-quality menus that enables you to choose with confidence according to your budget and requirements. Our in-house catering team offer a variety of menus for you to choose from, prepared by our talented chefs on campus.

Our dedicated and experienced in-house team can provide bubbles and canapés to a full sit-down wedding breakfast, with table wine. Our pop-up bar partner can provide a bespoke and professional bar service for you and your guests.  

A private menu tasting for the bride and groom is included as part of our service.

We are experts in accommodating specific dietary requirements and are happy to design a bespoke menu should you wish to have something more unique for your occasion. We will work hard to ensure that your unique day will be enjoyed by you and all your guests and a committed member of our team will be with you every step of the way.

An elegant wedding reception.
Waldegrave Suite
The Senior Common Room is dark blue and gold against dark wood.
Senior Common Room
The elegant Senior Common Room is dark blue and gold against dark wood.
Senior Common Room

The Waldegrave Suite, built in the 19th century, is a versatile space set in the extensive grounds of the campus with stunning views of Strawberry Hill House and Gardens.

The suite consists of the Waldegrave Drawing Room and Ante Room, Billiard Room and Senior Common Room. You may wish to make use of all of the rooms within the Suite, or a combination of them to suit your special day. However you choose to make use of the space, the Suite will be exclusively yours for the day.

The Waldegrave Drawing Room

The centrepiece of the Waldegrave Suite. With three magnificent chandeliers across an ornate high ceiling, intricately carved stone fireplace, beautiful silk wallpaper, and Venetian flooring, the Waldegrave Drawing Room is the epitome of elegance, giving your guests a true sense of occasion.

The Senior Common Room 

High ceilings, impressive chandeliers, rich wallpaper, and dark wood panelling. It retains the opulent quality of the Waldegrave Drawing Room, whilst providing a more intimate setting perfect for canape receptions or dancing later into the evening.

The Billiard Room

A light and spacious room and works well as a bar with occasional poseur tables.

Our extensive grounds

They offer plenty of backdrops for your photographer to capture your special day and our Priests Lawn is the perfect setting for welcome drinks.  

Waldegrave Suite room capacities
VenueBanquetingCabaretStanding
Waldegrave Drawing Room

105

72

200

Senior Common Room

50

30

100

Billiard Room

40

24

50

Strawberry Hill is best known because of its creator, Horace Walpole. The historian, writer, collector, and son of Britain’s first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole created Strawberry Hill house as a Gothic fantasy between 1747 and 1792. After his death the house passed initially to his cousin, Anne Damer. Anne could not afford to upkeep the property due to financial resources so the house was passed on to Walpole’s Grandniece, Laura Elisabeth Waldegrave, a widow. Thus began the connection between the Waldegrave family and Strawberry Hill.

Frances was the daughter of John Braham, the most famous operatic tenor of his day. Frances was born in London on January 4th 1821. She married, on May 25th 1839, John James Waldegrave of Navestock, Essex, who died in the same year. She married again, on September 28th 1840, to John’s younger brother George Edward, seventh earl Waldegrave. On the death of Lord Waldegrave on September 28th 1846, she found herself possessed of the whole of the Waldegrave estates including residences at Strawberry Hill, but with little knowledge of the world to guide her conduct.

In this position she entered for a third time into matrimony, marrying on September 30th 1847 George Granville Harcourt of Nuneham and Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire. Under Harcourt’s tutelage she developed great social acumen and with this newfound confidence she decided to restore and extend Strawberry Hill. The major part of this restoration was the linking of the two separate buildings, the gothic house and an adjacent block which she converted in to her Drawing Room and Dining Room.

Harcourt died in 1861 and after a respectable period of mourning she married Chichester Fortescue, a politician. It was during this marriage that the social gatherings quickly gathered momentum.

Frances soon became renowned as the most sought-after political hostess in the country. Royalty too were often on the guest list and in 1873 Frances had a Billiard room constructed because the game of Billiards was a favourite pastime of the Prince of Wales. In this same year, the railway station at Strawberry Hill was opened and it is a matter of some speculation whether the building of this station was influenced by Frances and her husband. Both were interested in property development in the local area. Indeed, some of their property portfolio, the large houses on Waldegrave Park, are still used by students at St Mary’s to this day.

Shortly after a party in June 1879, Frances was taken suddenly ill with a severe chest infection and died on July 15th. So passed an amazing woman, who as a consummate political hostess had become confidante and friend of politicians, princes, and kings.

St Mary’s has a long and distinguished history as a Catholic institution for the education of teachers. It was founded in 1850 by the Catholic Poor Schools Committee to meet the need for teachers to provide an education for the growing number of poor Catholic children.

It started in Brook Green in Hammersmith, where it was ran by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, with an intake of just six young men. In 1899, the Catholic Hierarchy asked the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian) to undertake the administration of the College.

In the years to follow, there was an ever-increasing demand for Catholic teachers and by the end of the 1920s the College campus at Brook Green was inadequate. As a result of successful negotiations, St Mary’s was able to purchase Strawberry Hill House and build living accommodation and classroom space for about 250 students. The College at Strawberry Hill was officially opened in 1925.

Strawberry Hill House had been on English Heritage’s At Risk Register and was listed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List in 2004, a move which proved a catalyst in starting a campaign for its repair. In 2007 the building and adjoining grounds were leased by the University to the Strawberry Hill Trust, an independent building preservation trust and in October 2010 a two-year long £9m restoration was completed and the property reopened to the public.

The restoration programme has been made possible by a £4.9m grant from the UK’s Heritage Lottery Fund and over £1.5m from World Monuments Fund, including a $1.1m donation from the Robert W Wilson Challenge Fund to Conserve Our Heritage, as well as numerous charitable trusts, local societies and individual patrons.

In 1992, the College was accorded ‘College of the University of Surrey’ status, and in the same year a lay Principal was appointed for the first time. From September 1996, taught degree programmes were accredited by the University of Surrey.

In September 2006, St Mary’s was granted the power to award its own taught degrees by the Privy Council. Following Privy Council approval, St Mary’s College became St Mary’s University College.

Nowadays, around a third of the offering at St Mary’s is dedicated to teacher education and there is a growing number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in subjects such as sport, drama, theology, and business.

The provision for international students, study abroad opportunities, and overseas collaborative partnerships has also expanded.

On 23rd January 2014, St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, was awarded full university title by the Privy Council and became St Mary’s University, Twickenham with around 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Strawberry Hill House is licenced for civil ceremonies for up to 100 people in the Long Gallery, a spacious room with fan vaulted ceilings, golden canopies, and crimson damask. Overlooking the beautiful lawns and adjoining the Waldegrave Suite, a great way to have your entire day all in one place.

There is also the option of a ceremony in the Round Room, a more intimate space with stunning painted glass windows, the capacity for the Round Room is 30-35 guests.

There is opportunity for the bride and groom to have photographs taken in the other historic rooms of the house after the ceremony.

Weddings - Strawberry Hill House and Garden 

Book a wedding at The Waldegrave Suite

For more information or to book St Mary's as a wedding venue, please complete our form.