The Old Milking Parlour lies in an idyllic rural setting in the grounds of Cavokay House, near the village of Henstridge, Somerset, UK - right on the confluence of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset. Nearby towns are Shaftesbury, Wincanton, Sturminster Newton, Gillingham, Sherborne and Yeovil.
It is, as the name implies, an old farm milking parlour. Parts of the building date from circa 1730 and cow chains still hang from the walls.
A privately-owned venue, it is available for hire for family occasions such as wedding receptions, christening parties, civil partnership celebrations, anniversary festivities and so on.
The building is constructed of the local stone (Forest Marble) and so retains its old world rustic charm. The main function room is 70ft (21.34 metres) by 23ft (7.05 metres) with an area of 1620 sq. ft (150 sq. m). The capacity is approximately one hundred people (seated) to one hundred and twenty people (standing).
Inside, it's more like being properly indoors than being in a barn. It's carpeted, warm and cosy with a friendly, mellow atmosphere. There are fairy lights, a bar, a dance floor, a kitchen, stage and dance floor lighting plus a high-quality sound system.
There is easy disabled access to the building and excellent indoor ladies, gents, and disabled toilets.
The building is heated and so is perfectly suited to a winter event.
The south-facing lawn is approximately three quarters of an acre in area and makes an ideal outside space for guests to mingle and chat.
The lawn has plenty of room for the erection of a marquee (there is no extra charge from us if you want to hire in a marquee).
An enclosed court yard (the old cow yard) lies next to the Old Milking Parlour and is an atmospheric and sheltered spot for barbecues and general chatting.
Adjacent to the main function room, is a small flat for the exclusive use of the bride and her retinue on the big day. There is a sitting room, a shower and a fitted kitchenette.
There is a disco-lit dance floor, stage lighting and a superb sound system. You can hire a band or a disco. Or you can use the venue's iPod disco. If you wish, you can use your own iPod, iPad or other device to construct your own musical entertainment.
Twelve acres of private grounds comprise the surroundings. These include paddocks, a stream and five acres of woods. Camping for guests may be possible. A quiet campsite policy is in place.
The private car park is constructed in hard standing and has parking for fifty-six cars. More, if carefully parked.
The bar measures 13ft (4 metres) by 13ft (4 metres) with an area of 146 sq. ft. (13.6 sq. m). You may run the bar yourself (an appropriate licence is needed) or hire a professional bar service.
We have 120 of the chairs shown below. The chairs are wooden, in a light beech colour, have padded seats and are very comfortable. The chairs are called 'Calcutta High Back'. You may use these chairs at no extra charge and dccorate them as you wish. Of course, you may prefer to hire in your own choice of chairs - and that's fine too.
We have 23 rectangular tables (size 6 ft by 2ft-6ins) which you may use to construct your own desired layout. But, of course, if you wish to hire in your own tables - that's fine.
The picture (left) shows a wedding reception layout for 72 seated guests and a 6 place top table.
The diagram below shows a couple of sample layouts which will accommodate 48, 72 or 108 guests, depending on the seating density. But, of course, you're free to choose any layout you wish.
As The Old Milking Parlour is a refurbished farm building, we are often asked: 'Do you have toilets?' The answer is that we have very high quality toilets within the building - Ladies' (pictured left), Gents' and Disabled. If your wedding is in the Winter, don't worry. The toilets are heated.