Now you can get married at the zoo

A Grade II-listed building at Chester Zoo that was once home to lions, bears and chimpanzees is reinvented as a wedding venue – see the first images. Tony McDonough reports

Bride, wedding
The Square is a new wedding and events venue at Chester Zoo


Chester Zoo has released the first images of a new wedding venue it has created in a Grade II-listed building.

Once home to lions, bears and chimpanzees, the stable block has now been named The Square and will offer a capacity of 200 people. It is available for weddings and corporate events and is, of course, surrounded by 27,000 animals.

And the zoo also hopes it will go on to stage important global summits on wildlife conservation. Chester Zoo already has a significant global reputation for conservation and is regularly visited by experts from around the world.

Featuring preserved original features that tell the story of its history, the building has a gated entrance, a large private courtyard, exposed brick walls, vaulted rafters and large windows overlooking newly created gardens.

Many of the patterns and textures used throughout The Square draw inspiration from some of the endangered species the zoo is working to protect. 

Zoo conservationists say income generated by every occasion held at The Square will contribute to the zoo’s charitable efforts to prevent extinction.

Chester Zoo chief executive Jamie Christon said: “There’s nothing else quite like this stunning new venue anywhere in the UK.

“It’s an incredible building that’s stood at the heart of the zoo for approaching a century and, through careful restoration, it’s now been brought to life.


The Square
The Square at Chester Zoo is a Grade II-listed stable block
The Square
The Square at Chester Zoo can accommodate up to 200 wedding guests
The Square
The Square at Chester Zoo will also cater for corporate events
The Square
How The Square used to look in the early days of Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo is home to 27,000 animals


“It’s a one-of-a-kind space which not only embodies the zoo’s rich history and character, but offers modern luxuries and comforts. And what’s more, who wouldn’t want to get married or have a company away day surrounded by 27,000 animals?

“Most importantly, each and every occasion that takes place at The Square will contribute to our charitable mission to prevent extinction, helping us to secure a brighter future for wildlife worldwide.

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“That’s what makes our new venue incredibly special and we can’t wait to start welcoming people to it.”

The Atrium, the main event room inside The Square, can accommodate 200 guests while three other reception and breakout rooms take the total capacity of the building to 380.

Each of the rooms can be used independently or used in combination, giving the building the flexibility to be able to host any type of event.

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