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Saint Mark's College

A Grade I Listed Building in Saffron Walden, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0171 / 52°1'1"N

Longitude: 0.2207 / 0°13'14"E

OS Eastings: 552483

OS Northings: 237738

OS Grid: TL524377

Mapcode National: GBR MC2.GM9

Mapcode Global: VHHL3.SK0J

Entry Name: Saint Mark's College

Listing Date: 28 November 1951

Last Amended: 31 October 1994

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1196246

English Heritage Legacy ID: 370730

Location: Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, Essex, CB11

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford

Civil Parish: Saffron Walden

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

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Saffron Walden

Listing Text


669-1/3/338 Saint Mark's College
(Formerly Listed as:
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 text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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