Rentals at Cliveden

The Cliveden Carriage House and Grounds are available to rent for community and private events. 

Cliveden is not available for weddings. 

Please consult with Libbie Hawes, Preservation Director, early in your event planning process to determine availability and ensure a successful event.


Planning an event at Cliveden

The Cliveden Carriage House and grounds are available to neighbors, community groups and small businesses as an affordable venue for celebrations, recreation, events and meetings. Please coordinate your inquiry with Cliveden staff to determine availability. Please inquire to arrange use of the buildings or grounds for recurring meetings or classes. Stewardship of the historic building and landscape is crucial to the Cliveden mission. Community groups, rental clients, caterers and guests are required to follow the guidelines outlined below to help protect the historic site. If desired, Cliveden staff can arrange for groups to tour the site and/or work with partners to suggest activities and service projects at the site.

The Cliveden Carriage House: 1,200 sq. feet (30' x 40') 

Capacity: 80 seated/ 120 standing

The Cliveden Carriage House meeting room is available to rent for special events, meetings or for use as multipurpose space. This space can accommodate family or business gatherings, cocktail parties, seated dinners, community and organizational meetings and other multipurpose uses such as rehearsals, performances, lectures, classes and workshops. Cliveden is not available as a venue for wedding ceremonies or receptions.

Cliveden Grounds

Cliveden’s five and a half-acre landscape with monumental trees, 18th century sculpture and wide driveway is available to rental clients, weather permitting. Please discuss your needs and rain plan with Cliveden staff early in the planning process. Cliveden cannot accommodate large capacity events that require a tent without significant coordination. Please refrain from climbing, touching or cutting from Cliveden’s historic trees, plantings and sculptures. These fragile objects are important elements of our historic landscape. Access to the lawn and drive adjacent to the Main House is restricted during times when the site is open for tours. Cliveden cannot guarantee the condition of the grounds will meet with client expectations unless clients consult with Cliveden staff early in the planning process.

Rental Guidelines

Amenities: A small kitchenette with sink, refrigerator and limited counter space are available for storage and preparation of food. Cooking facilities are not provided for rental client use. Cliveden can provide up to 75 chairs and (6) 6-foot and (4) 8-foot folding tables for use by rental clients, included in the rental fee. Chairs are for indoor use only. Table linens are not available. The interpretive exhibit rooms, located next to the venue room, can be made available outside Cliveden operational hours for tours. Public restrooms are located adjacent to the Carriage House meeting room and must be accessible to all public visitors during the site’s open hours. No other spaces in the Carriage House are available without express permission of Cliveden staff. Arrangements for tours of Cliveden can also be made for an additional fee. Please coordinate use of any of these amenities with Cliveden staff.

Decorations: In order to protect the Carriage House and landscape, decorations are limited to those that will not damage, interfere or obstruct the historic buildings, landscape, exhibitions, or signage. Please consult with Cliveden staff early in the planning process to determine creative solutions for decoration options that appropriate for the historic building and grounds. Decorations must be removed immediately after the close of the event.

In order to protect the Carriage House, the following decorations and devices are not allowed:

  • Open flame, including candles (LED candles permitted), torches, fireworks, sparklers, charcoal or gas grills, combustible materials, smoking. Canned chafing fuel is permitted for heating food.
  • Displays with water, including ice sculptures.
  • Decorations requiring damaging installation: tape, adhesive, push pins, nails, screws, staples. Cliveden staff can advise alternative methods.
  • Helium balloons, litter, tinsel, confetti, rice, bubbles, silly string
  • Pets, weapons, illegal substances
  • Alterations to the landscape including but not limited to trimming or removal of any flowers or foliage.

Cliveden staff reserves the right to extend these prohibitions at their discretion.

Lighting: The Carriage House meeting room lighting is divided into three zones on dimmers and should be sufficient for various lighting needs. Outside the Carriage House, a minimal exterior lighting system illuminates the buildings and grounds after dark. Exterior power outlets are available for additional lighting. Please coordinate additional lighting and power needs with Cliveden staff.

Environmental Controls: Heating and cooling in the Carriage House is challenged by the high ceilings but controlled a thermostat and by heat/cool fans. During events, the Cliveden staff liaison can assist clients in adjusting for environmental comfort.

Audio-Visual Media: The Carriage House is equipped with three projection screens, power outlets and wireless internet access. A podium is available for use by rental clients. Audio visual equipment must be provided by clients or vendors, Cliveden does not have a projector or sound system available for rental client use. Amplified music and disc jockeys are permitted – please let Cliveden staff know your plans. Professional photography and filming are permitted with advance notice.

Trash Disposal: Rental clients are responsible for disposal of trash generated by events. Reasonable use of the dumpster and recycling container in the Cliveden parking lot is permitted. Please coordinate with Cliveden staff.

Cooking: The use of propane-fueled grills and ovens is permitted on the grounds by caterers under a cook tent only. Cook tents and equipment must be placed at least 15 feet away from buildings and vegetation. Caterers must have the proper permits and safety equipment, including fire extinguishers for all cooking equipment. Fire extinguishers must be readily available if portable food chafing fuel (Sterno) or other heating elements are used to keep food warm. Open air cooking, grilling, smoking is not permitted on the Cliveden property. Please instruct caterers to coordinate their needs with Cliveden staff early in the planning process.

Driveway: Use of the driveway is permitted but limited to the path from the front gate on Germantown Avenue to the rear gate on Morton Street. Please make arrangements ahead with Cliveden staff if you would like the Germantown Avenue gate open for your event. Vehicles are not permitted to drive on the lawns or the loop in front of the Main House. Vehicular traffic on the Cliveden grounds is limited to driving through, loading and unloading. Parking is not permitted on Cliveden grounds or on the driveway. For loading purposes only, vehicles are permitted on the cobble pavement in front of the Carriage House.

Parking: Ample Street parking can usually be found on Cliveden and Morton Streets. Parking is prohibited on Cliveden grounds, please move cars to street for parking. For larger event parking, rental clients are directed to make arrangements for use of the Second Baptist Church parking lot across Cliveden St from the Carriage House. Call (215) 849-0257 to reach Second Baptist Church.

Supervision: Cliveden staff must be on location to monitor use of the site at all times during rental events. Cliveden reserves the right to staff the event at their discretion to accommodate monitoring of the historic buildings and collections as well as serve as a site liaison during the event. Event staff and clients are must alert Cliveden staff immediately of any concerns regarding the use and protection of the historic building and collections and in the event of an emergency.

Booking Procedures

Scheduling: Rental scheduling is accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis and is subject to the scheduling of Cliveden programs and events, tour hours and etc. Consult with Cliveden staff to determine availability. Staff will hold requested dates for a reasonable period while clients confirm plans. Booking must be confirmed at least two weeks prior to the event. Rental reservations are confirmed with a 10% non-refundable deposit and signed contract after an initial consultation, and otherwise considered tentative.

Planning meeting: Rental Clients are required to meet with Cliveden staff to discuss their plans for set up and use of the site. This meeting must take place at least two weeks prior to the event. Cliveden staff can assist clients in making plans that fall within the limitations for protecting the historic site.

Set up: Access to the venue is limited by other activities and staffing. Rental clients will only be given access to the site during booked hours. It is important to make drop off and set up plans in advance with Cliveden staff. Rental clients may make arrangements in advance to drop off materials for their event up to two days prior to the event. Event set up must take place on the day of the event within hours booked. Rental clients must provide their own tools and materials for set up, including ladders, scissors, string, etc. Please consult with Cliveden staff to ensure adequate set up time can be accommodated.

Insurance Requirements: If liquor is served, the rental client or caterer is responsible for obtaining and providing proof of a minimum of 1,000,000 Event Liability insurance and $1,000,000 Host Liquor Liability insurance. Caterers usually already carry this insurance. If not working with a caterer, rental clients can check with an insurance company that provides business, renter, home or car insurance. For more about short-term event insurance policies:
Insurance Information Institute: Special Event Insurance (liquor liability is often included)
Insurance Information Institute: Social Host Liability Insurance

Pricing for event rentals is calculated by the hour. Typically, rental clients need at least one hour before the event for set up and at least 30 minutes after the event for clean up, please include time for set up and clean up in the booking request. Cliveden staff will quote pricing after an initial consultation to clarify the scope of the event. Extra time will be billed by the half-hour at a prorated fee. Additional fees will be added for certain amenities, including booking group tours of the site, etc.

Rental reservations are confirmed with a 10% non-refundable deposit and signed contract. Payments are accepted in full any time up to three business days before the event. Checks may be made payable to “Cliveden,” and credit card payments are accepted either in person or via telephone.

Use the form below to request a booking.

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