Helping hand from history for proposal

Jeff Rowland, 34, took his unsuspecting girlfriend Sarah Reynolds, 32, on a Valentines Day trip to historic Temple Newsam House last week to see the Tudor mansions stunning Channon cabinet where he had hidden a ring before asking her to marry him.

Jeff Rowland, 34, took his unsuspecting girlfriend Sarah Reynolds, 32, on a Valentines Day trip to historic Temple Newsam House last week to see the Tudor mansions stunning Channon cabinet where he had hidden a ring before asking her to marry him.

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A romantic marriage proposal was given a helping hand with 260 years worth of history.

Jeff Rowland, 34, surprised girlfriend Sarah Reynolds, 32, with a Valentine’s Day trip to Temple Newsam House last week to see the Tudor mansion’s stunning Channon cabinet.

The happy couple outside the historic Temple Newsam House.

The happy couple outside the historic Temple Newsam House.

Crafted from the finest mahogany in 1750, it hides a number of intricate secret drawers and compartments, originally designed to conceal aristocrats’ love notes and treasures.

During the tour, a member of staff opened each drawer eventually revealing an engagement ring safely hidden there earlier that day.

Jeff, a senior HR advisor, said: “Sarah has always been drawn to historic buildings, castles and homes and it went exactly according to plan.I told Sarah why I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, got down on one knee and asked her if she would marry me. Thankfully, she said yes.”

He had been planning the proposal since the end of last year after the couple, who live in Headingley, attended a chocolate-making workshop at the 500-year-old house.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Jeff and Sarah moved to Leeds last year after being together for just six week so Sarah could study for a PHD in cultural studies at the University of Leeds.

Sarah said: “I shouldn’t have been surprised Jeff would organise something so thoughtful and unique, but I was amazed he managed to create this whole surprise without me having a clue.

“When I spotted the ring I broke down into tears. It was an incredibly creative and beautiful way to ask.”

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