This centre will re-open on 12 April 2021  (please refer to the Government Guidance for the list of exempt groups/activities). 

Note: Private parties and social gatherings are currently not permitted with the exception of wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions and memorial services following a funeral and these are limited to a maximum number of people that set by the Government.  Please refer to the latest government guidance for the maximum number of people currently permitted to attend your function. 

From 12 April -  Community Centre can re-open for indoor children's activities (with up to 15 parents - children not included in this number) and other exempt activities.

From 17 May -  Indoor adult excercise classes will be permitted   

Above dates are subject to change

Venue Information

The Markwell Pavilion is situated in the centre of the town of Bishop's Stortford in the pretty Castle Gardens and the building was originally built for the Elsie Barrett Club for the Blind.  It is suitable for the elderly and disabled. There are two rooms, one slightly smaller and carpeted, both with separate kitchens and toilet facilities. The Pavilion is ideal for summer functions having access to the gardens to enjoy the outside parks. Wi-Fi is also available.
To hire, contact Tracey Gaynor on 01279 715004 ( or for regular bookings contact Anne Shirley on 01279 712146 (

Dog training sessions are not permitted in this venue. Only Guide Dogs permitted in the venue.

Please Note: No 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st birthday parties are permitted at this venue. 

Parties ages 12+ are required to leave a £300 cash damage deposit.

Please Note: The use of helium balloons, chinese lanterns and naked flamed candles are not permitted at this venue.

Please Note: In the unlikely event that there is a problem with the key to the Markwell Pavillion, please contact the Tourist Information Centre, in the Town Centre, they have spare keys and are open on Saturdays between 10:00-16:00hrs, contact telephone number 01279 715001.

Pricing per hour
HirerMarkwell Pavilion 2020/2021Elsie Barrett Room 2020/2021Both Rooms 2020/2021
Private Hire & Registered Charity*£10.70£9.20£16.30
Senior Citizens Clubs, U3A & VIP Club*£7.49£6.44£11.41
All Hirers - after 6pm on Weekends/PublicHolidays£21.40£18.40£32.60
Use of recorded music (per session): £1.50
*except after 6pm on Weekends/PublicHolidays
Room Information: 
RoomCapacity (people)Dimensions
Main Hall70 standing or 60 seated / during Covid-19 max standing capacity = 28 @2m40ft x 30ft / 12.2 x 9.1m (70 padded chairs in foyer)
Elsie Barrett Clubroom, Stored in cupboard 4 x 6' & 2 x 4' tables 20 x Chairs 40 standing or 30 seated / during Covid-19 max standing capacity = 13 @ 2m23ft x 24ft / 7 x 7.3m (20 plastic black chairs in cupboard)
Both Halls100 - during Covid-19 no large gatherings if using both halls, private bookings limited to 30 people, may be slightly extended but only by special prior arrangement with BSTC
Tables and Chairs in Foyer for Markwell Pavillion 16 x 6' 10 x 4' tables 70 x chairs
Castle Grounds Bishop’s Stortford Herts
CM23 2EL (map)
Latest News: 

DfE Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme- Phase 2 Venue Hire for the month of August 2-27 every evening 16:00-20:00 for further details contact Lyndsey email

Wiggly Willow Club - Fridays 5-6pm Elsie Barrett Room  - . The club is for people with learning disabilities of all abilities, there will be singing/signing and dancing working towards performing in the future.  £5 per session for further details contact Sid Perry on, Web:

344649 Photos from left to right: Outside view of Markwell Pavillion and Elsie Barrett Club Room; Markwell Pavillion Main Hall, Elsie Barrett Club Room; Elsie Barrett Kitchen; Kitchen for Markwell Pavillion Main Hall.

outside photo of the markwell pavillion buildingphoto of markwell pavillion hallphoto of elsie barrett roomphoto of elsie barrett club room kitchenphoto of markwell pavillion main hall kitchen