I absolutely LOVE shooting weddings at Pembroke Lodge, with its position in Richmond Park and lovely views. I’ve shot several weddings and engagement shoots at Pembroke Lodge over the last few years and they were all wonderful experiences. When the sun shines at the lodge it feels more like the Mediterranean than a London suburb. It’s a venue that promises and delivers many awesome opportunities for great photography and what’s more it attracts cool and lovely couples too.
The history of Pembroke Lodge is fascinating and varied, starting its life as a humble one room cottage for the resident ‘mole catcher’ whose sole purpose was to reduce the risk presented to huntsmen by molehills. The cottage was enlarged to form a dwelling with four principal rooms and renamed Hill Lodge. The occupant, John Trage, a gamekeeper, let rooms to Elizabeth, Countess of Pembroke, who became very fond of the Lodge and begged King George III to grant it to her. The King granted her request and another lodge was built for Trage in 1787. Between 1788 and 1796, Sir John Soane and Henry Holland extended the building, on behalf of the Countess of Pembroke, to form the entire Georgian wing and part of the North wing. After the death of the Countess here on 26th May 1831, at the grand age of 93, William IV granted the Lodge to the Earl of Erroll, husband of one of his daughters. Between 1831 and 1846 the Earl completed most of the remainder of the North wing. The Countess of Dunmore lived here during 1846.
In 1847, Queen Victoria granted the Lodge to Lord John Russell, the Prime Minister, who conducted much Government business from here. This was one of the heydays with visitors including Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort, Palmerston, Gladstone, Garibaldi, Thackeray, Dickens, Browning, Tennyson, Landseer and Lewis Carroll. Lord John was much taken with the Lodge – “an asset that could hardly be equalled, certainly not surpassed in England.” Earl Russell died here on 28th May 1878, aged 85. It seems that the Lodge induces longevity but that late May is a time to be abroad! His widow, Dowager Countess Russell, was succeeded by her daughter Lady Agatha Russell, who left a memorial, still standing in the Rose Garden, “Pembroke Lodge 1847-1902 In loving memory of my Father and Mother, Lord and Lady Russell and of our supremely happy home at Pembroke Lodge.”
Bertrand Russell, the philosopher and mathematician, spent his early years here between 1876 and 1894. He “grew accustomed to wide horizons and an unimpeded view of the sunset” and remarked “I have never since been able to live happily without both.” Georgina Countess of Dudley took occupation in 1903 and made further alterations including the decorative friezes in the ground floor of the Georgian Wing, the mahogany doors and floor. A wealthy industrialist, John Scott Oliver, took up residence in 1929 and also carried out many alterations, mostly in the North wing. He suffered large financial losses in the recession and put the Lodge on the market in 1938.
Before the Lodge could be sold it was requisitioned by the Phantom Squad, GCHQ Liaison Regiment, for its officers quarters. This was a fascinating time, as the Squad’s role was to position motorcycle riders equipped with radios at front lines to relay the precise situation to the commanders of all Allied units in the vicinity. Much insensitive alteration was carried out to the Lodge and the cottage suffered two direct hits from bombs in 1942 and 1944. Sadly, after the War, the Ministry of Works implemented a rudimentary scheme to convert the North wing and first floor of the Georgian wing into flats for Park staff, with the ground floor of the Georgian wing becoming a cafeteria.
Not only does Richmond have the lodge for weddings, but outside of Richmond Park there are numerous wedding venues. I’ve also shot several other weddings locally, weddings at Ham Polo Club and an Orleans House Gallery wedding. Pembroke Lodge is definitely a favourite venue of mine, with its beautiful views and perfect location, and I’d love to share some of my shoots there with you below.
Please feel free to follow the links below to get an idea of what you can expect from me on your wedding day and if you love what you see I’d love to hear from you to discuss your plans for your big day. You can also visit the Pembroke Lodge website here.
Louise and Steven tied the knot at Pembroke Lodge and had the most perfect day in the most perfect summer wedding weather possible. My brief was simple, document the majority of the day naturally, as I always do, shoot a handful of groups towards the end of the drinks reception and a couple of short couples shoots around the grounds of the Lodge. We managed to squeeze in a quick 15 minute shoot whilst the guests were being seated for dinner and then another 15 minute shoot after the speeches whilst the guests were breaking for coffee. Happy couple, happy guests and happy photographer! Please feel free to take a look at a selection of my favourite images from Louise and Steven’s perfect Pembroke Lodge Wedding.
Louise and Steven booked me in for a spring pre-wedding shoot/engagement shoot ahead of their summer wedding and just like the wedding day that followed the weather was absolutely fabulous. We spend an hour or so wondering around the grounds, shooting natural moments, sitting amongst the daffodils and chatting, more like a stroll through the park with friends than a shoot. Please do take a look at a selection of my favourite images from Louise and Steven’s wonderful Pembroke Lodge Engagement Shoot.