Norwich Castle to host weddings as city’s register office closes

Norwich Castle is to host weddings. Photo: Bill Smith

Norwich Castle is to host weddings. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant

In a history spanning 900 years, it has been a royal palace, a prison where notorious murderers languished and the home of mummies, dragons and teapots.

But from next year, Norwich Castle is set for a new chapter in its remarkable timeline – as a venue where couples can get married.

Churchman House, Norwich's current register office and wedding venue, is to close at the end of March next year. And from April 1, that means people will be able to say 'I do' in the Benefactors Room at the castle instead.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council, said: 'We've been looking for a new building for a number of years. There have been accessibility issues with Churchman House, including some flooding.

'We wanted somewhere that was open and accessible to all and a pleasant environment for customers and staff.' The castle is already licensed for marriage ceremonies and, with the weddings ceremony team to be based at the Shirehall, couples will be able to discuss the venue with agents on-site.'

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The county council says a new online booking system, due to launch in the spring, will also make the actual process of booking a wedding or celebration simpler.

Other staff currently based at Churchman House, in St Giles Street, will be moving to the Norfolk Record Office, where people will be able to register births or deaths.

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There is also a recently opened office at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital – where a registrar is on-site in line with similar arrangements that already exist at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston and at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

The council said, in the new year, it was also planning to open an office at Earlham Library where people will be able to register births and deaths.

A spokesman added; 'Every couple with a wedding booked at Churchman House after the end of March next year has been relocated to the castle, or we've been able to find an alternative arrangement that suit them.'

Churchman House is owned by Norwich City Council. A city council spokesman said: 'Churchman House is a very important heritage property so we are currently exploring options that keep its best interests at heart.

'This means securing a future that is sensitive to its historical significance and also makes sure the fabric of the building stays in good repair.'

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