Sopwell House

A majestic Georgian country house with a royal history and outstanding event spaces just 20 minutes from central London

Overview

Nestled in 12 acres of tranquil gardens, Sopwell House is the former Georgian country residence of Lord Mountbatten, the last Governor of India. This is an incredible venue with a wide selection of well equipped and versatile function suites. From corporate product launches and conferences to weddings and anniversaries, the venue seamlessly hosts a great variety of impressive events. Known for its attentive staff and high-quality service, Sopwell House offers a dedicated events wing and a luxurious complex of suites that provide privacy and exclusivity. This is a venue that adds charm and significance to any occasion.

Capacity

700
MAX CAPACITY


Dinner Venue, Set-up For Dinner

320DINNER

Reception Venue, Poseur Tables, Reception Style Set-up

700RECEPTION

Conference Venue, Theatre Style Set-up

380THEATRE

Review

Sopwell House is a hidden sanctuary surrounded by Hertfordshire countryside and only 20 minutes from London’s St Pancras. The Sopwell House event spaces can accommodate a great variety of private and corporate events across 14 flexible rooms. Events range from conferences and training days, to gala dinners, birthday parties and weddings.

The events wing at Sopwell House has a dedicated entrance with a reception desk, digital screens, a large foyer and two customised bars. All event spaces on the ground floor benefit from natural daylight and most of them open onto the picturesque terrace. The largest event space is the St Albans suite, which can accommodate 300 guests for a conference or gala dinner. Used in conjunction, the event spaces combined can host a drinks reception for up to 700 people. There are also a number of smaller meeting rooms located on the first floor, which are perfectly suited to boardroom style meetings.

Separate from the main hotel, the exclusive Mews Suites are accessed through secure gates and set within beautifully landscaped gardens created by Hampton Court Flower Show winner Ann-Marie Powell. The suites offer guests greater privacy and luxury with their individual design. Some suites include feature fireplaces, four-poster beds, double ended in-room baths, private terraces and cedar wood spa baths. Mews guests can also enjoy the exclusive communal garden area that features a large outdoor hydropool. The Mews can be exclusively hired and the courtyard can be used for private dinners, drinks receptions and parties.

Located within the beautifully landscaped lawn is a unique walled garden offering 600 sq metre space for events. Complete with its own power and water supply, the Walled Garden can be used for many outdoor activities. These include summer parties, concerts and screenings, exhibitions and wedding receptions. The Walled Garden is also the ideal location for TV and commercial shoots.

In addition, Sopwell House makes the perfect venue for away days and team building activities. With a variety of activities to choose from, the lawns are suitable for sports and lawn games, motorised segways, hovercraft and laser-shooting. Birthday, engagement and anniversary celebrations can be hosted in style across elegant spaces with views over the stunning gardens and handcrafted food prepared by the marvellous culinary team. Weddings are also popular at the venue with the gazebo or walled garden providing a unique location for an outdoor wedding ceremony.

Experienced at delivering high-quality events for large parties of up to 700, event organisers enjoy the extraordinarily high standards at this venue. The Sopwell House banqueting team can deliver a variety of menus to suit a range of corporate and special occasions. This venue caters for everything from nutritious breakfasts for sports teams, to light fork buffets and delectable champagne receptions.

On-site is a fully equipped gym and aerobics studio as well as an indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi. There are two restaurants, a cocktail lounge and a conservatory bar at this country house hotel. Though the venue enjoys a countryside setting, it is still within easy reach of London, the M1, M25 and a number of major London Airports. True countryside charm and super fast transport connections make Sopwell House a venue that offers the best of both worlds.

History

Once the country home to the last Governor of India, Lord Mountbatten as well as the mother of Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh, Sopwell House has a fascinating place in the history of the British royal family.

The earliest reference to Sopwell House is found in a deed of 1603, which makes reference to the house as the newly built ‘New Barnes,’ home to Richard Sadlier. In 1665 the Duchess Alice/Alicia, a member of the illustrious Dudley family, took up residence during the great plague and fire of London. The name New Barnes is still in use locally today with ‘New Barnes Mill’ and its bridge is situated nearby.

In 1670 the house was bought by Sir Harbottle Grimston, Earl of Verulam, owner of the Gorhambury estate. Gorhambury was built by Sir Richard Lee on the ruins of the Sopwell Nunnery which became the possession of Francis Bacon, the 1st Baron of Verulam. The Sopwell Nunnery is believed to have been where Anne Boleyn took refuge following her return from France and where her secret marriage to King Henry VIII took place.

At the beginning of the 18th Century, Edward Strong, a Master Mason known to have worked on St. Paul’s Cathedral, leased the house and it is assumed that he developed the house further during his tenure. In 1901 Admiral of the Fleet, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Father of Louis and Alice, leased the house as his family’s country home. Louis, later Lord Mountbatten of Burma, was the last Governor of India. Alice married Prince Andrew of Greece and was the mother of Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh. It is believed that Prince Andrew proposed to Alice in the gardens of Sopwell House.

As part of the Verulam estate, Sopwell House was used by members of the family until the end of the Second World War when it became a home for the aged before its conversion in 1969 to a hotel. The present owners, the Bejerano family, purchased the property in 1986 and have sensitively developed and updated the facilities, taking immense care to retain the character and charm of the original Georgian house. Today Sopwell House is a hotel and an outstanding venue hosting corporate and private celebrations of great significance.

Cottonmill Ln, St Albans AL1, UK
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Sopwell House - A majestic Georgian country house with a royal history and outstanding event spaces just 20 minutes from central London