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Upnor Castle ceremony terms and condition

Upnor Castle is available for hire for ceremonies from:

  • 1 April to 30 September, Monday to Sunday, 10.30am-5pm;
  • 1 October to 31 March, Monday to Sunday, 10.30am-2pm.

Its maximum capacity is 100 and the fee (£800 for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays; £550 for Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) is for the hire of Upnor Castle Upper Magazine room only and does not include the fee payable to the Superintendent Registrar, which should be paid separately to the Registrar. Please phone the Registrar on 01634 338899 for more information.

Exclusive hire of the castle is available for weddings booked to take place after 3pm. The price is available upon application. Please note that the law states that all marriages can be attended by any member of public and therefore, should someone wish to gain entry to the castle for that reason, castle staff are not permitted to stop them.

Conditions for the letting of premises for the purpose of a civil ceremony

1. You must be aged 18 years or over and the council reserves the right to require proof of age.
2. Your application must be on the appropriate form and accompanied by the full sum stated.
3. The council reserves the right to refuse your application without giving any reason.
4. You may apply for a letting up to 24 months in advance but the council reviews its scale of hire charges from 1 April each year. The council reserves the right to charge you the balance.
5. The letting remains provisional until the Superintendent Registrar of the Medway Registration District has confirmed to the council that the necessary registration staff will be available to celebrate the civil ceremony. The council will then send you confirmation of the letting in writing.
6. The premises or any part thereof may not be sub-let or sub-hired, neither may possession or occupation be given to a third party.
7. Even when the letting has been confirmed, the council need to the use of the premises at very short notice, for example if there is a national or local emergency. Although such circumstances are rare, the council must reserve the right to cancel the letting and return monies paid but without the payment of compensation of any kind, giving you as much notice as possible.
8. If the council receives from you more than one month’s written notice cancelling your letting, an administrative charge of 20 per cent of the letting fee will be made and the balance will be returned to you but you will incur no other penalty from the council.
9. If the council receives less than one month’s written notice of cancellation from you, the full sum paid will be forfeited.
10. No personal payment is to be made to any council employee under any circumstances, whether or not they have carried out any work in connection with the letting.
11. At the end of the letting, you are expected to leave the premises tidy and clean. If you do not, the council will arrange for the necessary work to be carried out and you will be charged the expense.
12. The application form states the maximum capacity for the premises and it is your responsibility to ensure it is not exceeded.
13. If any damage is caused to the premises or if any of the contents owned by the council are damaged or go missing, the council will repair the damage and/or replace whatever is missing and you will be charged the expense.
14. Nothing may be physically attached by any means to any part of the premises, neither may the existing lighting, sound amplification or other electrical equipment be extended in any way without the council’s prior written consent. It should be noted that models in the Upper Magazine (the wedding room) may not be moved.
15. The council shall not be responsible for any loss, damage or injury (including death) caused to or sustained by any person arising out of or in connection with the letting, unless such loss, damage or injury (including death) was caused by some default or negligence on the part of the council and you will indemnify the council against all expenses, costs, fees, damages and losses arising out of or in connection with any claims resulting from such loss, damage or injury (including death).

Important information

  • No food or drink may be served or consumed in any part of the buildings (except for the champagne toast on the bastion). Picnics, however, are permitted in the grounds.
  • Photography and filming during the ceremony is by agreement of the registrars conducting the ceremony.
  • Photography and filming before and after ceremony is permitted anywhere in the castle and grounds. No additional lighting may be used without the agreement of the Superintendent Registrar.
  • During normal opening hours, the castle will remain open to the public with the exception of the Upper Magazine room during the ceremony and those parties who have opted for early closure.
  • You are asked to provide a minimum of two ushers to direct guests from the main gate area to the Upper Magazine room for the ceremony and provide ushers to serve any drinks.
  • Smoking is not permitted in any part of the castle, including the courtyard and bastion.
  • Naked flames or candles are not permitted in any part of the castle.
  • Confetti is not permitted in any part of the castle, its grounds or in Upper Upnor High Street.
  • Petals are allowed.
  • The arrangements made for a marriage to take place at Upnor Castle are conditional on:

    • (i) the attendance of the necessary Registration staff from the Medway Registration District;
    • (ii) the legal preliminaries having taken place at the Medway Register office.

Parking

  • All cars, apart from the bridal car, must park in the visitor car park at the top of the village.
  • The bridal car should not attempt to turn or reverse into the castle entrance as this could cause damage to the fabric of the building and to the vehicle.

Disabled guests

  • Due to the historic fabric of the castle and its pathways, the castle may be unsafe for some disabled guests.
  • Access for wheelchairs is very limited and the ceremony room is upstairs in the castle. Please check limitations before attending a ceremony.
  • There is very limited parking within the castle grounds for disabled guests. Please check for availability.