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Through The Years: The History Of Tents and Marquees

October 23rd, 2014

Marquees have become particularly popular over the past decade, whether for weddings, parties or other events. It is now common to set up a marquee to host both a casual or more formal affair. At Best Intent Marquees we have been offering marquee hire for over twelve years and understand just how successful it can be in making an event extra special.



Age-old tents

Traditional tents for shelter and sleeping date back as far at the early Iron Age before Christ. Since then they have become useful for a number of different purposes and groups of people, such as:


  • habitation for nomadic people all over the world
  • recreational campers
  • shelter for disaster victims
  • military camps or temporary barracks
  • to host campaigns or protests


All shapes and sizes

Tents have evolved throughout history to take on many different shapes and sizes. With a growing demand for tents to suit any number of different purposes, designs can be as simple and lightweight as possible, to the very extravagant and luxurious kind. Bell tents, tipis and domed tents are the most common for marquees.


Changing fabrics and design

Original marquees were made of canvas but it is now more likely for them to be manufactured from polythene or high quality PVC. The versatility of fabrics keeps the tent and its inhabitants protected from the weather. All marquees are structured with poles although depending on the shape, the number will vary. Fewer poles make for a simpler design in comparison to domed or pointed-tipped tents. Some marquees are structured simply with a roof but walled marquees with windows are common.




A trip to the circus

Marquee tents were initially associated with circuses right back in the late 1800s. Known as ‘Big Tops’, these large, often striped tents became an iconic part of the circus culture. Due to the nature of the performers being travellers or gypsies, and the touring aspect of the circus, the tents made it easy to set up a moving event all across the world.


Live music at festivals

The possibilities of marquees expanded further to host live music events, particularly festivals. Giving a platform for a stage and shelter for electrical equipment, tents became a part of festival culture. Regular tents offered the perfect solution for festival goers to camp. Festivals such as Glastonbury are known for their numerous marquee tents dotted across the large grounds.



Beautiful weddings and receptions

Typically, marquees were used for English country garden weddings, appealing mainly to the upper classes. Over the years marquee weddings and receptions have become the popular choice for many brides and grooms. Here at Best Intent Marquees we offer a range of different marquees which can be tailored to fit any wedding dreams, showing just how adaptable they are as a beautiful wedding option.


Taking corporate events outdoors

Many businesses now have their own marquees or regular supplier to hire and install them. We understand the growing demand for corporate marquee tents; supplying a professional environment to showcase your business, corporate marquee events liven up the more formal boardroom format.


For marquee hire in Scotland and the North West of England, get in touch with us here at Best Intent Marquees. We can provide a marquee for whatever event you need, from corporate and private events, to parties and weddings. Let us make your event special.