Music plays a huge part in life at Crow’s Hall Suffolk wedding venue. After a quiet, Covid-restricted year, owner Caroline Spurrier reflects and shares some Christmas music favourites.
From charity concerts in Suffolk’s longest Tudor barn to jazz musicians playing near the garden amphitheatre on Crow’s Hall island, music always makes an important contribution to elegant wedding celebrations and events at the home which Caroline Spurrier loves to share.
In 2020 however, the only thing the birdsong has really had to compete with has been the classic songs and symphonies wafting from the radio. The usual musical interludes have been sorely missed by everyone at Crow’s Hall, but there are always tuneful refrains to look forward to at Christmas.
EADT Suffolk Magazine writer, Lindsay Want, interviewed Caroline as part of a Music at Christmas – it’s a kind of Magic feature, published in November 2020.
“Together with all her four-legged friends, music has been one of the things this year which has particularly helped owner of Crow’s Hall, Caroline Spurrier, keep her pecker up.
High on a hill above the village of Debenham, moated Crow’s Hall is the sort of home where you’d expect to find the entrance hall decked with boughs of holly, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at your nose out by the paddocks. There’s undoubtedly a partridge to be spotted by the avenue of double-planted vintage oaks and maybe even a pear tree round by the potager, but you’d probably have to make do with moorhens rather than swans a-swimming on the moat.
The Grade II* listed manor and its delightful gardens designed by Xa Tollemache from across the fields at Helmingham Hall, are usually lovingly shared with visitors on special house tours through the Historic Houses’ Invitation to View scheme, with a handful of wedding couples in the summer and guests attending its music-based charity events in the über-impressive and awesomely authentic Tudor long barn – purportedly the longest in Suffolk.
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“Our charity fundraisers have been such a loss to so many this year,“ says Caroline. “Our annual evening of Jazz in the Barn is always huge fun and one of my favourites. Even though I’m not a particular follower of jazz, I do love the traditional style.“
The barn’s beamed walls and open vaulted ceiling has been just perfect for opera performances in the past and Caroline’s been delighted to share the very special space for Debenham High School productions too.
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”I’ve had to feast on the memories of the high notes from previous years and remember all the beautiful music from the weddings wafting across the moat.“ String quartets, harpists, sitar players, jazz trios, disco DJs and rock bands – Crow’s Hall has heard them all.
And over the years, Caroline’s trusty canine companions – Westies, Alfie and Rosie, black greyhound Betsy and the now sadly much missed white greyhound Molly – have lapped it all up and taken it in their stride. “They’ve had to make do with Radio 2 and Classic FM now which isn’t quite the same, but music is so important to all of our moods and I have it on constantly around the house.”
So what’s on the musical menu at Crow’s Hall this Christmas? A few carols around the beautiful piano in the dining room perhaps? “ I do play to enjoy, but don’t play quite well enough to enjoy, if you know what I mean,” says Caroline modestly.
”The dogs are rather fond of ‘Bark! The Herald Angels Sing’ of course, but I’m up for everything that’s easy-listening. Aled Jones, Abba, Queen, all the usual yuletide favourites, but I guess ‘The Nutcracker’ really captures the spirit of Christmas for so many of us. Yes, it’s just lovely.”
May we take this opportunity to wish all our wedding couples, guests and visitors past, present and future all the compliments of the season.
We do hope that we will be able to welcome you again at Crow’s Hall in the year to come – until then, stay safe.