A COUPLE have celebrated the first civil wedding ceremony at Durham Castle.

Durham couple Charmian Baring and Jake Murray became the first to tie the knot in a civil ceremony at the Norman castle, which has only been licensed to hold them since April.

The ceremony took place on Sunday, July 23 in the Norman gallery and was followed by a reception in the great hall.

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Speaking ahead of the ceremony, the bride and groom, said: “We are delighted to be making history as the first couple to be married in a civil ceremony at Durham Castle. It’s the perfect setting for a wedding, full of atmosphere and elegance.”

The Norman castle, which is part of Durham University, has only been licensed to hold civil ceremonies since April.

The civil ceremonies, which are non-religious but legally binding, can be held in various locations around the historic venue.

Michelle Crawford, bursar at Durham Castle, said: “We are delighted to have hosted the first civil wedding ceremony within Durham Castle, and warmly welcomed Charmian and Jake on their special day.”