St Mark’s Residential Youth Centre Essex
St Mark’s College Audley End, Saffron Walden, CB11 4JD
MONTHS OPENJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
What we offer
The original buildings on the site were built in 1258 as an infirmary (hospital) for the Benedictine monks of Walden Abbey. After the monastery was dissolved during the Reformation the property was rebuilt and completed by around 1600 as almshouses by the Earl of Suffolk who built Audley End House. It is these Grade 1 listed buildings where serve as our residential youth and conference centre today.
Today St Mark’s is used by youth groups, schools, adult groups, voluntary and commercial organisations as well as families holding a celebration or event. The site is suitable for parties, retreats, educational visits and indoor or outdoor activities.
Safeguarding & security
All St Mark’s staff members have an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service background check carried out. All activities run by St Mark’s are regulated by the Diocese of Chelmsford Safeguarding Policy.
Guest accommodation is within a secure courtyard with access only via security coded doors. A duty manager will be on duty throughout your stay.
Group Sizes Catered For
We have space for 38 guests with scope for expanding this with the addition of bunk beds where required. Our maximum capacity is 50 which reflects the number who can be seated in the Great Hall for meals.
Risk Assessment Details
Visiting group leaders are responsible for the safety of their group members except when undertaking activities run by St Mark’s staff. Copies of all relevant risk assessments are available upon request. Testing of fire evacuation equipment and procedures takes place on a monthly basis with groups briefed on procedures upon arrival by the duty manager.
Mid-week per 24 hour stay £857 (first 18 guests) then £39.50 per person for each additional guest (adult or child)
First Aid Information
Though group health and safety remains the primary responsibility of group leaders there are first aid facilities are available on site with a qualified first aider on duty at all times.
As a Grade 1 listed building it goes without saying that residents will enjoy the historic and architectural beauty of the site. The Tudor brickwork and Medieval stained glass make this a truly unique setting for your residential group. The rural setting provides quiet and tranquility for those pursuing the beauty of silence whilst providing space to roam and explore for the more adventurous of souls. Our facilities include:
• 17th Century buildings
• River Barn Craft classroom
• Medieval barn for indoor games and activities
• Games field
• Air rifles
• Giant Native American Tipi
• 9m x 18m marquee for wet weather activity shelter
• Magnificent Great Hall
• Comfortable and cosy Common Room
• Atmospheric chapel
• Flexible Room of Requirement for meetings/presentations etc.
• African drum circles
• Wet weather activities
• Assault course
• Greenwood working
• Laser tag
• Arts and crafts
• Inflatables games
• Peaceful country setting
• Fully catered or self-catering
• Self-led or fully hosted
We offer fully catered or self-catering options for residential groups though the majority of guests opt to have all their meals provided by our skilled staff team. Meals are served in the atmospheric Great Hall by waiting staff. Most weekend stays begin with a hot meal on Friday evening and culminate in a roast Sunday lunch. School groups may also opt for a “medieval banquet” hosted by our staff! Special dietary requirements are catered for including vegetarian, gluten free, dairy intolerance and allergies.
Accessibility & Disabled Facilities
Accommodation can be adapted for disabled access but this is limited given the physical constraints of a 17th Century building. We do have one bedroom adapted for disabled use.
Opening Hours & Information
We are available for bookings all year round except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
“Thank you ever so much for a wonderful experience, it was the first trip I have ever organised and it all ran smoothly despite the weather! It really enthused the children and they have learnt lots about each other from it and understand more about each other and how good teams work.” Teacher, Stapleford Primary
“We had a great day out with all of our children, young people and staff. The range of activities could be adapted for individual needs and there was plenty of space for those children who find the activities difficult to access. The staff and volunteers were outstanding in their support doing their utmost to ensure everyone from Accuro Saturday play club had a great time.”- Leader, Accuro (Group for children and young people with special needs)
“Our children enjoyed a wonderful residential trip to St Mark’s. The College staff were fantastic at interacting with, and involving children of all abilities; accommodation, food and outdoor facilities were all very good quality and excellent value for money.” Teacher, Friends School
“St Mark’s is a great venue for a residential stay! Our pupils enjoyed the drumming workshops and the new outdoor activities. They enjoyed using the giant chess set and the space to just run and play. We’ll be back again next summer and we’ve already booked our places as we don’t want to disappoint our pupils!” Headteacher, St Mary’s Prittlewell
Staying in a Grade 1 listed building with comfortable and practical accommodation is a truly unique experience. The fact that this extra special place which is regarded internationally as of historical and architectural importance is reserved for their use, is a priceless message to children. It speaks of their value and importance to us as adults. The very substance of the buildings awakens in visitors of all ages imagination, excitement and comfort in a place that resonates with a history of care and hospitality from its 700 year history.
St Mark’s sits in the middle of the Audley End Estate at the bottom of Audley End village on the outskirts of Saffron Walden close to the Essex/Cambridge border. A two minute drive will take you to Audley End Station which sits on the Liverpool Street/Cambridge line and there is also easy access to the M11 motorway, a one hour drive from East London.
Room Sizes and Facilities
With our primary purpose being the provision of facilities for children and young people it is inevitable that our overnight accommodation will reflect this. So all of our rooms have a theme from children’s literature informing their decoration.
Without the addition of extra bunks rooms consist of 4 or 6 beds with one double 4 poster room which can also be used for disabled guests who can make use of the en-suite wet room.
All rooms enjoy an en-suite shower with six rooms sharing toilets and wash basins. Three bedrooms have an en-suite bathroom.