Monday, 10 April 2017

New Owners Save The Ravenswood500-Year-Old East Grinstead Wedding Venue, From Developers
l to r: Tash Cronin, General Manager, Samantha Wordie, Weddings & Events Co-ordinator, Steve McArthur, outgoing owner, and directors Stuart Guy and Harrison Wood.

The Ravenswood had started to close down and plans were going ahead to convert the building into residential units, but East Grinstead-based Samantha Wordie of Samantha Wordie Photography and businessman Stuart Guy have now purchased the business and have saved the day.

East Grinstead, 10th April 2017 - The new owners of The Ravenswood Country House Inn, the beautiful wedding and event venue in Sharpthorne, near East Grinstead, have stopped the developers from moving in.

Steve McArthur who had successfully run and owned The Ravenswood and hosted hundreds of weddings since 1980, reluctantly decided it was time for him to retire. He passionately wanted his hotel to remain a wedding venue, but was forced to submit plans to convert the 500-year-old hotel into residential units in case he didn't find a buyer who was willing to keep The Ravenswood going as it was. Steve had, in fact, started to close the business down when, a few weeks ago, Samantha Wordie of Samantha Wordie Photography (someone very familiar with the world of weddings), noticed that The Ravenswood website was down while trying to find a wedding venue for a couple, and she called to find out why. She was told it was being sold, at which point she got in touch with her businessman friend, Stuart Guy, who got together with her and other friends to save The Ravenswood.

"Stuart and I had been looking for a venue to buy for a few years. When we found out The Ravenswood was being sold and possibly converted into apartments, we decided the place was too beautiful to be lost to developers and we got together to save it! It all happened by chance! I have many years of experience in the wedding business, and I have always wanted to run my own dream wedding venue. With all its character, charm and history, that's exactly what The Ravenswood is - not only for weddings but also for parties, conferences, concerts and all manner of other events. This is a dream come true for Stuart and me. We want people to know we're fully open for business and ready to take bookings right now!" says Samantha Wordie.

It's also business as usual for the Sunday Lunch & Live Jazz, which will still be held at The Ravenswood every Sunday from 12 Noon until 3pm as it always has been, and on Sunday 21st May 2017, 11am-3pm, The Ravenswood will be hosting a Wedding Fayre together with Empirical Events, the wedding show company.

The Ravenswood is indeed a unique property, set in 20 acres of beautiful lawns, gardens and lakes, with its 4 function rooms and 34 bedrooms, 6 of which have four-poster beds. The original part of the house was built in 1426 and over the years, it has had many interesting owners and occupiers, most notably Princess Beatrice, youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, as well as Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

For more information, please contact:

Samantha Wordie, Weddings & Events Co-ordinator
The Ravenswood Country House Inn 
Horsted Lane
Sharpthorne
West Sussex
RH19 4HY


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