Katy and Simon chose me as their Wedding Photographer back in February and it was great to meet up with them again for their engagement shoot in September.
They first met in Reigate in Surrey so they decided that they would like to have their engagement shoot in that area so decided on Priory Park. The park itself is a photographers dream with beautiful gardens, fountains, woodland, a lake and an old priory (hence the parks’s name).
Katy and Simon are such a relaxed couple and were very easy to work with so am really looking forward to their wedding day. Luckily it was a beautiful day so I was able to get some lovely natural shots of the two of them as we walked around the park plus some fun staged shots. It was great chatting to them about their forthcoming wedding and going through ideas for their day, I hopefully gave them some good ideas!
A little history about the park taken from their leaflet:
The Priory at Reigate, an Augustine house, was founded in the 13th Century by William de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and later converted to a mansion in Tudor times following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1541 Henry VIII granted the Manor and Priory of Reigate to Lord William Howard, Uncle of Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife. The Priory became the principal seat of the Howard family and a number of other private owners of the estate. The last of these was the Beatty family, Admiral Beatty having been appointed the Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord in 1919. Then Reigate Borough Council purchased the estate in 1948 and a school opened in the Priory in the same year. Today the Priory is a Grade 1 listed building and is occupied by Reigate Priory Junior School.
The Formal Garden
The Formal Gardens were opened in 2008 as part of the Priory Park Restoration project. In the Sunken Garden a formally patterned flower garden, known as a parterre has been created using a geometric planting pattern and new topiary trees. Important historical feature in the garden including the stone seats, steps and monumental fountain have been restored to their former glory. The hedge surrounding the sunken garden was removed to restore the views towards and away from the Priory building but the Irish plumb yew topiaries at the rear of the two stone seats have been retained to restore the garden’s late 19th Century appearance. New standard topiary trees have been planted to line the central path running between the Priory and Sunken Garden and the buried Ha Ha (sunken wall) has been uncovered and repaired.
The Lake at Priory Park was originally a series of fish ponds serving the Augustine Priory and the earliest evidence of these ponds dates from the late 14th century. The first estate plan of 1770 illustrates six ornamental ponds of varying sizes, which by 1860 had been altered to create the single water body we see today. Today the lake is a significant remnant of the earliest period of the estates history and an important ecological recourse supporting a wide range of wildlife.
Here’s some of the images form the day…