The Pilgrims Rest – A Truly Unique 600 Year Old Wedding Venue in East Sussex

by Michelle

The Pilgrims Rest is a beautiful and truly unique, 600 year old wedding venue in the heart of East Sussex.  Licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies this historic venue gives you the perfect backdrop to create your wedding day – your way.

The Pilgrim’s Rest offer exclusive use, no corkage charge and no hidden extras.  Whether you choose to have a DIY wedding or bring your own caterers the highly experienced event team will ensure your day runs seamlessly.

The Pilgrims Rest is available for weddings and parties all year around. In the summer months, your guests are free to enjoy the beautiful tended rose garden and sunny walled herb garden. As the evenings draw in, the fires and candles are lit  creating a truly magical backdrop for your celebrations

Over to the team now to tell us more about the history of this enchanting venue and how you and your wedding party can enjoy being part of it’s history.

Tell us about your venue

The Pilgrims Rest is a stunning 600 year old Wealden Hall house nestled adjacent to Battle Abbey in the heart of East Sussex. With no hidden extras, no must-use suppliers and no corkage charge, The Pilgrims Rest is a flexible venue that gives you choice.

Our experienced events team will be with you on the day to ensure your wedding runs seamlessly.  They have put together a “little black book” of great Sussex suppliers from caterers to florists so that planning your wedding is enjoyable and stress-free.

With tables that are wide enough for sharing platters and vintage decanters to serve your wine, we have sourced and included lots of extras – The Pilgrims Rest is not just an empty venue.

The Pilgrims Rest is far more than just a beautiful old building.  Having opened her doors to visitors and pilgrims to Battle since 1420, this grand old lady has historic soul.  She has hosted celebrations from medieval banquets to Georgian balls, Victorian luncheons to Edwardian tea dances.

Over the centuries flagons of ale, goblets of wine, flutes of champagne and copious cups of tea have been consumed beneath her eaves to the sounds of ladies’ chattering and gentlemen’s laughter flooding through her walls.

From the Great Hall to the Bryant dressing suite all the rooms have endless original features from ancient beams, inglenook fireplaces in every room to the crown post and linenfold doors.  Let’s not forget the witch’s marks to ward off evil spirits, and the pargeting walls.  There is even a secret tunnel hidden under the Great Hall fireplace that runs beneath the Abbey walls.

When the sun is shining, your guests can flood out into the old rose garden and sunny walled herb garden.  As the evenings draw in, stoke up the fires, light some candles and watch as she sparkles into life.

Do you offer civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies? 


Do couples & their wedding party have exclusive use of your venue?

Yes from 8.30am on the morning of the wedding through to midnight.

Venue capacity – How many guests can attend the day ceremony, if applicable, wedding breakfast & the evening reception?

60 guest for ceremony and wedding breakfast and 100 guests in total for the evening reception.

Tell us just a little about any wedding packages you offer

We offer exclusive use, no corkage charge and absolutely no hidden extras. We offer flexibility and choice – you can choose your own caterers and suppliers or do the whole thing yourselves with the help of friends and family.  We simply provide a beautiful wedding venue to help make your perfect day possible.

We provide the ceremony chairs and safety candles and plenty of wood for the inglenook fire.  Plus the lime washed trestle tables, benches and faux fur rugs, pewter candlesticks and candles, vintage decanters and linen table runners.

Do you have in-house catering, or preferred suppliers or are couples free to choose their own caterers?

Couples are free to choose their own caterers however we do have a list of recommended caterers.

Can couples supply their own alcohol for the evening? Is there a corkage fee?

Yes, they can provide their own drinks for the day and evening and we do not charge corkage.

Are couples completely free to choose their own wedding entertainment & do you have a specific sound system?

Yes, we do have a DJ and other musicians we recommend but it is up to the couple.

Do you offer accommodation on site? If so, for how many guests?

No however we do have the Bryant Suite which is beautiful dressing room that includes kitchen and bathroom facilities. Ideal area for the bride to get ready on the morning of her wedding day.

Do you have an in-house wedding co-ordinator?

Yes, our Events Manager is on site throughout the day and evening.

How far in advance can couples or their wedding stylist, florist etc have access to the venue in order to decorate it?

They can decorate and set up the day before the wedding.

Do you have gardens or an outdoor area for wedding photographs?


What’s your best advice to couples when choosing their perfect wedding venue?

The biggest tip is sticking to the saying ‘less is more’, don’t worry about the little things and just keep things simple. If you keep things simple, you will have stress free day and be able to enjoy your wedding day for what it is … a celebration and making a commitment to each other.

Any finally, what are your favourite moments from previous wedding you’ve been involved with?

We have had some lovely beautiful weddings with lots of lovely couples. Each wedding has been so different and very personal to them. One of my favourite moments was during the ceremony. It had been important to our lovely couple for the dog (Bobby) to be present at their wedding.

When the registrar announced our couple as husband and wife, everyone in the ceremony clapped and cheered including Bobby who just barked and howled as if he knew. A very sweet moment.

All images courtesy of The Pilgrims Rest

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