Hiring St Mark's Church and Hall
The church (auditorium) and the upper hall are let together for public events, such as concerts or lectures. The auditorium has a maximum capacity of 200 persons.
The church and the upper hall, either together or separately, are suitable for private meetings and rehearsals. The maximum capacity of the upper hall is 60 persons.
The lower hall provides a high quality space for rehearsals of smaller-scale theatre groups and music ensembles, or for small conferences. Its maximum capacity is 60 persons.
The whole building has been recently extensively refurbished and offers a high quality venue in a very central location in Edinburgh. For Edinburgh Festival Fringe please also see separate entry.
Accessibility and Facilities
There is a ramp access at the front of the building which leads on to level access to the auditorium and upper hall which are both on the ground floor. There are spaces available in the auditorium for wheelchairs and prams. The platform in the church is wheelchair accessible via removable ramps. There is an accessible lavatory located at the rear of the upper hall. Two lavatories off the main front vestibule are readily available from the rear doors of the auditorium.
The Church as a Meeting and Concert Area
The church is an early 19th century building of classic style and layout with an entrance vestibule, leading through two side doors into the body of the church. There are two aisles leading between seating on fixed pews to the front of the church where there is a raised platform occupying the full width of the building, but having a usable space of approximately 9m x 3.3m. This platform is accessed by two steps across the entire front width and is approximately 46cm higher than the floor of the church auditorium. The seating is not raked and will seat up to 200 people, although audiences of 30 to 40 also feel comfortable. The auditorium has excellent acoustics and generally there is no need for amplification of musical instruments. A sound amplification and assisted hearing system is available.
Lighting and Power
The platform is lit separately from the church auditorium, by 8 domestic spotlights, arranged overhead, 4 at each side. There are also 4 double socket 13amp mains voltage power points, arranged as 2 at the back of the platform and 2 at the front; and one double socket 13amp power point with RCD cut out at the front of the platform.
On the platform of the church auditorium is a Weinbach grand piano, which is tuned regularly during the year. The use of this instrument is free for those hiring the church but we divide the cost of tuning amongst those who use it.
The Upper Hall
At the rear of the platform a door opens into a passage which leads into a general hall, measuring 7m by 8m and having a maximum capacity of 60 persons. Leading from it are a fully accessible lavatory and a rear fire escape door, both of which are essential for public events. There is also a well-equipped kitchen with a serving counter. The hall is ideal for small meetings. For concerts, artistes can use the upper hall for rehearsals, changing and refreshment breaks. Tables and chairs are available.
The Lower Hall
The lower hall is located beneath the upper hall. It provides a well-lit space measuring 4½m by 10m, maximum capacity 60 persons, with a small catering unit. Two lavatories are situated just outside the entrance door. It is ideal for rehearsals by small theatre or musical groups or for small-scale conferences. Access is by stairs only, so it is unsuitable for persons with mobility difficulties. Tables and chairs are available.
Central location of the Church within Edinburgh
St Mark's Unitarian Church (7 Castle Terrace) is located close to the West End of Princes Street at the junction with Lothian Road. It overlooks St Cuthbert's Church in Princes Street Gardens, with views up to Edinburgh Castle. It is situated midway between Waverley and Haymarket Railway Stations, approximately 1 kilometre from each, and there is a large multi-storey car park about 100 metres from the door. (This car park is quite expensive by day, but has reduced charges for the evening if entered after 7.00pm.) Castle Terrace is the second turning on the left along Lothian Road starting from the junction with Princes Street at the Caledonian Hotel. At its other end Castle Terrace connects with Johnson Terrace which leads to the Royal Mile close to Edinburgh Castle. The Traverse and Royal Lyceum Theatres, the Usher Concert Hall and the Filmhouse, with the usual variety of associated bars, cafes and restaurants, are all within a short walk.
Guide to Charging
Lettings of the Church and/or Upper Hall are normally for 4-hour slots. The usual time slots available are as follows.
10.00 to 14.00hrs (daily except Sundays and Tuesdays)
14.00 to 18.00hrs (daily)
18.00 to 22.00hrs (daily except Thursdays)
These times must be inclusive of setting up, clearing up and departure: please make due allowance when deciding upon your programme timings.
The Lower Hall is normally let on a weekly basis.
Prices are available on application. Reduced rates may be available for regular bookings and for charitable organisations whose aims and values echo those of Unitarians in Edinburgh. A 33% non-returnable deposit will be requested in order to confirm your booking. Performing Rights charges for music, if appropriate, are passed on to you, unless you can show that you are not liable for this charge. For public entertainment events we also make a charge to assist with the cost of the City of Edinburgh Council Public Entertainment Licence.
Festival lettings (during August) are dealt with in a separate section.
For all enquiries and bookings for venue please email: