About Us - The Birth of Anvil Hall
In May 1998, during a visit to Edinburgh, Gretna entrepreneur Heath Hampson was introduced to the Internet. Instantly, Heath recognised that this new technology would significantly change the way we would all find information in the future. As a peceptive businessman, he also recognised that the Internet would change the way people would plan their wedding in Gretna Green. It was obvious he needed a website and he needed to act quickly! He found a web designer who created a website and within 2 weeks, his business was online!
At the time, Heath and his family lived in a two bedroom council house in Gretna with a 5ft x 2ft store cupboard at the top of the stairs which was quickly converted into a makeshift office using an old wardrobe on its side to use as a desk! Soon after launch, the website was generating emails and enquiries on a daily basis from couples looking for help and information about getting married at Gretna Green. Without a venue of their own, at that time Heath and his wife helped couples book one of the three blacksmiths marriage rooms at Gretna Hall. Less than a year after starting the business Heath and his team had organised over a hundred weddings, culminating in the organisation & management of 10 weddings on Valentine's Day 1999.
Discovering Anvil Hall
In 2003, it was apparrent that Gretna Catholic Church (St Ninians), built in 1917, only had a congregation of 14 people! Clearly this was unsustainable but the Church was not for sale. Father Campbell, the local priest, was delighted to show Heath around.
Heath recalls "I was visualising how I could change it, whilst in a fairly rundown state i could see that it had been built in the Italian Renaissance style and was confident with a bit of hard work, it could become a unique and stunning wedding venue "
Heath contacted Bishop Taylor in Ayr, who confirmed that the church wasn’t for sale. Unperturbed Heath contacted the Bishop every week for six months until eventually being told to ‘put an offer in writing!’ The offer was passed to Scotland's senior Bishop based in Edinburgh who contacted The Vatican in Rome!
Whilst the first offer wasn’t accepted the second one was!
SUZANNE & TOM SAY:
"We got married at Anvil Hall on 17th Sept 2014. Had the most amazing day. Anvil Hall is an amazing truly beautiful romantic place to get married. I wouldn't have changed venue even with all the money in the World!"
A New Beginning
Heath went to the final mass at St. Ninians Church on 18th November 2003. The church was packed and in addition to the congregation, attendees included three former Priests and four Bishops including one Bishop from Rome representing the Vatican.
Heath recalls "I was humbled to be invited, it was amazing, and such an emotional mass. The Congregation, Priests and Bishops were all so pleased that the Church would continue to be used as a place of marriage."
On the 9th June 2004 the first wedding was held at the re-named Anvil Hall!
Anvil Hall Today
Gretna Green is a unique wedding destination. Anvil Hall, being only venue in Gretna where all the weddings are lit by candlelight and the only venue with an aisle for brides to walk down is a unique, romantic wedding venue. When you choose Anvil Hall you can be assured of fond memories.
A high definition webcam enables family and friends who can’t attend weddingd in person to watch online from anywhere in the world.
Gretna Green is World Famous for weddings and at Anvil Hall we're pleased to help couples plan their wedding without stress and hassle.