Saint Mark's College / St Mark's College / Abbey Farm And Almshouses

17 Feb 2003
Saint Mark's College, Village Street, Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, Essex
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St Mark's College, Village Street, Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, Essex
Abbey Farm And Almshouses, Audley End, Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, Essex
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


TL53NW VILLAGE STREET, Audley End 669-1/3/338 Saint Mark's College 28/11/51 (Formerly Listed as: AUDLEY END St Mark's College)


Formerly known as: Abbey Farm and Almshouses AUDLEY END. Almshouses. 1605-1614. Built by Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, contemporary with Audley End House (qv), restored and chapel rebuilt c1948-51. Small red bricks in wide jointed English bond with peg-tiled roofs. One and one and a half storeys. Double rectangular courtyard plan with kitchen, stairs hall and principal hall in line in between the courts and chapel on same axes projecting to E. W front elevation: essentially symmetrical long range, single storeyed at ends with central block an extra half storey. N and S ends have facade gables with tall, plain, outer, diagonal stacks with ovolo moulded base cornices. Stack form uniform throughout building. Central unit has two 4-centred arched internal porches leading centrally to courts. Whole facade unified by plinth and bold brick ovolo-moulded cornice at first floor eaves level with similar cornice at upper eaves level of central block. Windows of building all comprise narrow, single, double or triple round-headed lights, chamfered and all now with C20 diamond leaded panes in old iron casements, some with stay hooks or friction quadrant stays. Ground floor, porches have inner boarded doors with moulded and studded battens. Outer windows (under gables) of twin lights, central window of triple lights, 7 others across range, either single or double. First floor, N end has double light window in gable, S gable is blank. Central block, has central facade gable with triple lights (over those below) and 2 dormer gables to N and one to S, all with twin lights. Centre window and those on N side are dropped through ovolo cornice and appear to be deepened as an alteration. Single stack and inner paired stacks at each end somewhat rebuilt with grouped triple stacks central behind roof apex. Rear E elevation: similar in style to front, single storeyed range with plinth and cornice, some rebuilding at S end. Chapel projects centrally to E, blocked 4-centred arched doorway each side, once leading to courts, blocking of each has C20 rectangular double casement window. Range has 8 windows with single or paired lights plus one C20 rectangular double casement at each end. 6 stacks in building style, one at each end and one each side of blocked doorways, some rebuilding. Single C20 dormer window in S range with peg-tiled roof and lattice glazed double casement. Chapel of C20 build on old foundations, similar bricks to rest, corner pilaster buttresses at E ends, peg-tiled, gabled roof. N and S sides each have a large brick-built multi-light window in building style of 4x3 lights. E window has rectangular wooden framing with hollow chamfered mullions and transoms, 5x3 lights, diamond latticing with included scattered fragments of late medieval stained glass. S elevation: uniform, single storeyed range, blank terminal and central facade gables. Symmetrically arranged windows, double-single-double x 3 along range. Terminal stacks and also paired stacks each side of central gable with outer stacks taller than inner, some rebuilding of stacks. N elevation: somewhat re-built and irregular. E rebuilt in C18 red brickwork, Flemish bond with some burnt headers, also centre of range has later brickwork apparently infilling 2 doorways (straight joints), arch headed window within one consequently not original. End gables blank but signs of blocked window at W end. Outer terminal stacks and stack with paired shafts, re-built. Courts: rectangular, elevations similar to exterior with plinth and ovolo cornice. Centre range of one and a half storeys. Each now has seven 4-centred arched headed doorways with boarded and battened doors leading to individual tenements. Central cast-iron pump in each. 4-centred arched entry doorway central to W sides, similar doorways blocked in E sides with C20 rectangular 2-light casement windows. N court: single and twin-light windows on N, E and W sides. 3 additional blocked 4-centred arched doorways on N side. S elevation to communal rooms has 3 triple-light windows and 1 double, also one central upper double window and 2 blocked doors. S side also has 2 dormers with triple casements, W side a single double casement dormer. S court similar to N, with single and double light windows. N elevation (to communal rooms) has 2 external stacks (to hall and ante-room) with double shafts. Large S facing windows, one at E end of 4 lights and 2 at W end (kitchen) of paired upper and lower lights (4 lights each). Central triple window between stacks (hall) once had upper lights as well - now blocked but showing hall to have present ceiling inserted, being originally full height. 2 additional blocked doors in S side. Dormer window in W range, double casements and 3 similar dormers in N range, one of 3 lights. INTERIOR: includes fireplaces set diagonally in room corners of tenements, chamfered with arched heads, all now plastered and painted. Fireplace of kitchen (transverse to range) is large, 4-centred arched, with C17 wooden surround, cut down to fit, with bold carved heads, swags and cartouches and remains of paint (from Audley End House?). Fireplace has old quadrant chimney crane and c1800 elaborate grate. Lamb's tongue chamfered stops on stair hall and principal hall joists and fragment of wind braced, clasped side purlin roof at W end of central block of W front, commensurate with C17 date of constuction and subsequent division of hall. Re-built chapel has one original early C17 hammer beam truss, restored and a second truss to E in imitation. Hammer beam has cornice, spandrel over has pair of balusters with shaped upper rail, half baluster to inner post face, pendants below and at collar centre. When the C20 re-building and renovation took place, fragments of re-used medieval glass were removed from the various windows of the college, in particular the kitchen and the SW tenement of the N courtyard, and set within the chapel window. A fragment showing the Virgin and Child is noteworthy.

Other stained glass fragments remain in the windows of the hall, stair hall and kitchen. The plan of the college, with 2 courts separated by the hall and chapel can be paralleled in the contemporary Wadham College, Oxford. The buildings were almshouses used mainly for estate workers. After restoration in 1948-51 they were used to house retired clergy. 1992 vacant awaiting new use.

Listing NGR: TL5248337738


This is part of the Series: IOE\Phillips_Tony IOE Records for Phillips, Tony; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


Copyright IoE Dr Tony Phillips. Source Historic England Archive

People & Organisations

Photographer: Phillips, Tony

Rights Holder: Phillips, Tony


Brick, Tile, Tudor Chapel, Elizabethan Religious Ritual And Funerary, Stuart Place Of Worship, Jacobean Estate Cottage, Domestic, House, Dwelling, Almshouse, Health And Welfare, Residential Building