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Bishop Woodford House is located in the garden of the former Ely theological College and is an oasis of peace and tranquillity.

It benefits from being built relatively recently and offers facilities for gatherings of up to 60 or more intimate groups of 4 or 5.

The NGS garden provides areas of relative privacy.

Dining and accommodation are also part of the hospitality we offer.

To see some of the facilities, view the slide show (right).

More details are available below or in the downloadable information sheet.

download (pdf)

Facilities information sheet


In recent years the Garden has been transformed to create areas of relative privacy.

Here, on a warm day, guests can sit undisturbed with the scent of flowers and the busy drone of the bumblebee and feel totally at peace.

The garden also contributes towards the provision of the house, with a small kitchen garden, where vegetables and fresh herbs are grown organically throughout the summer.

The gardener keeps the use of chemicals to an absolute minimum using only organic fertilizers. Kitchen and garden waste is composted and put back into the soil. This way we can maintain a natural balance and encourage beneficial wildlife into the garden.

Guests may also wish to wander down to the river or through the Cathedral and Millennium Parks.

Bookings & Further Information

To make a provisional booking or arrange a visit please contact Tim or Ron, at

Bishop Woodford House

Retreat & Conference Centre

Barton Road




Email: office@bishopwoodfordhouse.com

Telephone: 01353 663039

Bishop Woodford House is a purpose built retreat and conference centre opened in 1973 in the ancient cathedral city of Ely. It is just a few minutes walk from the beautiful cathedral, often referred to as "the ship of the Fens".
It is easily accessible by road from the M11, A14 and A10, and also by rail with good services to London and to the North and West.
Bishop Woodford House is located in the garden of the former Ely Theological College and is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. It benefits from being built relatively recently and offers the following facilities:
Accommodation is provided for up to 31 guests as follows:
Ground Floor
2 single en-suite rooms.
2 twin en-suite bedrooms, one of which is accessible for those with disabilities.
First Floor
2 twin en-suite bedrooms.
8 single en-suite rooms.
13 single bedrooms with wash basins (and showers, bathrooms and toilets close by)
All rooms are centrally heated.
We have an excellent reputation for our traditional family cooking, using as many fresh ingredients as possible.
The day starts at 8.30am with Continental breakfast which is followed by Morning coffee with home-made biscuits at around 11.00am and then lunch at 1.00pm. Afternoon tea with home-made cake is served about 4.00pm and Dinner is at 6.30pm.
Lunch and Dinner are usually two courses followed by coffee. For special occasions we offer a three course meal or a buffet style meal. We can cater for vegetarians and most dietary requirements with advanced notice. The dining room seats up to 48 people or up to 60 standing.
In the Woodford Room & Bar Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea are served along with Coffee after lunch & dinner. People can come to this room to make tea & coffee throughout the day and fresh milk is always available here. It can also be used as a small syndicate room for around 6 people.
We also have a small but well stocked licensed bar for use by all guests of the House, with a variety of nonalcoholic as well as alcoholic drinks. This is to be found in the corner of the Woodford Room and will be opened as appropriate.
N.B. There are three other places situated around Bishop Woodford House where people can go and make tea and coffee throughout their stay.

Meeting Rooms

The Chapel is at the heart of the House and is adjacent to the spacious entrance hall. The chapel is always open for both individual and corporate prayer and meditation. It seats up to 60 and is available for use by all groups visiting the House. It may also be used as a rehearsal room for choirs staying at the House. This simple but beautiful building dates back to Victorian days. It was originally sited elsewhere in the city and was carefully dismantled and rebuilt on its current site.

St Etheldreda's Room is the largest meeting room and seats up to 30 in an informal circle or up to 60 in lecture room style. Most groups use this as their main room though it can also be a conference room, artist's studio, sewing room or just a place for peace and quiet.

St Mary's Room is the second largest meeting room. It can seat up to 20 in an informal circle or in lecture room style. It is at the far end of the building and is often used when two groups are sharing the facilities of the House as the main meeting room for the smaller group.

St Peter's Room is a small syndicate room or general sitting room which can seat about 8 in a circle.

The Board Room seats about 30 in board room style and is great for more formal meetings with lots of paperwork. It can also be used as an additional syndicate room. As this room is a shared facility with the Diocesan Office next door, there is no guarantee that it will always be available. If you wish to use this room then please check it's availability with us at the time of booking.

The Entrance Hall is a bright open area where you can socialise during coffee breaks or in the evenings. It can also be used by small groups as a discussion area.

The Library is next to St Mary's Room and can be used as a small group room for about 4 people. It also contains a small selection of books for use by guests at the House.

The Bookshop is where we sell a variety of Christian books, cards, candles, pens, Icons and other gifts. It can also be used as a small syndicate room for 3 or 4 people or as an interview room.

Rehearsal Room Choirs staying at Bishop Woodford House may use our chapel as a rehearsal room. There is an electric Yamaha Clavinova keyboard in the chapel which seats up to 60.

download (pdf)

Facilities information sheet