Layer Marney Tower

Project: Layer Marney Tower
Location: Essex

Historical Background

England’s tallest Tudor Gatehouse, Layer Marney Tower stands within the Essex landscape, commanding views to the River Blackwater and beyond. Built in the reign of Henry VIII by Henry, Lord Marney, Layer Marney Tower is a statement house.  The ornate terracotta decorations are of Italian design, and the extravagant use of glass, diaper patterns in the brick work and its commanding height, add to its grandeur and importance.

Although this is a stunning and imposing building, Layer Marney Tower remains a family home, skilfully adapted as a wedding and events venue.

The Project

In 2008, Nick Charrington, the owner of Layer Marney Tower, approached Zardi & Zardi having been referred to us from the Historic Houses Association.  He was looking for a decorative solution to the large, empty wall spaces in the main event spaces at the Tower, which were to be transformed into a beautiful and unique wedding venue.  The Devonshire Hunting series from the Zardi & Zardi portfolio was selected and used in a number of different ways.

A site visit was carried out early in 2008, to consider the potential spaces that could be enhanced by hanging reproduction tapestries. Designs from the Devonshire Hunting series were made up as wall-hangings and hung in the Tuke’s chamber (a room used for pre-party drinks), and the Tower room, in which three walls were covered at full height to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.  However, the priority was to decorate the south wall of the Long Gallery, a room with Tudor panelling, a Jacobean fire place, and huge sparkling chandeliers. The main function of this room is for wedding receptions, in which a beautiful wall-hanging was created and hung to act as a feature and as a backdrop for wedding events.