The site was originally built to a high standard 100 years ago by the National Children’s Home. Christian outreach amongst the poor in London had encountered large numbers of children without parents, so its thoughtful original design included residential flats, staff accommodation, administrative facilities, playing fields and parks, as well as a beautiful Chapel. A factory-type building was also included as a print work which evolved into a vocational learning path for young people to take related apprenticeships. For seven decades it served thousands of children and youth with a sisterhood of Methodist women providing Christian care. The entire site has been designated as a conversation area because of its outstanding architectural interest. This means that planning laws protect the exterior architecture and the landscape.

Highfield Oval has been in the ownership of YWAM Harpenden (a limited company with charitable status from 1971) for more than twenty years. Many parts of it, which were formerly derelict, have been brought back into use. However, with the continued growth and demand for space, a full upgrade and redevelopment is now a high priority.

The site is ideally suited for the development of young people, providing experiential and vocational learning in a supportive community setting. We believe it should continue to do this for many years to come.


Phase 1: Oval-wide Heating System and Stablehouse
The Oval-wide heating system will provide Highfield Oval with green, sustainable energy. Designed for optional efficiency to meet our immediate energy need, using woodchip biomass and gas system for backup. The phase also allows for flexibility in energy sourcing for future needs. The new system will prove more efficient and more economical. Harpenden goes green!
The “Stablehouse” building project will help meet the current need to accommodate temporary residential teams and serve as a self-contained, mini-conference suite.

Phase 2: The Factory
When completed, Phase 2 will greatly increase YWAM Harpenden’s ability to host events and offer training courses. The new factory complex will become a lively centre for a community with global, and local vision. It will provide new eating, meeting, working, recreational and educational space-effectively becoming a new heart for the Highfield Oval community. Phase 2 also includes plans for new preschool and café areas.

Phase 3: Building 5 and Bramley Hall
Building 5 will be a new residential unit which will offer increased flexibility, trainee and staff housing, and additional space for our quarterly basic-training modules.

Bramley Hall, once completed, will allow all of our classroom space to be central, located, flexible, encouraging trainee interaction, and providing new, larger classroom overlooking the sports pitches and woods. By updating this building to modern standards, Phase 3 will add much needed improvements and expand our ability to run training courses, and free up other buildings for second-level training courses.

Phase 4: Building 10 and Building 11
Phase 4 replaces these deteriorating pair of family units with new ones varying from 3 to 1-bed sizes.

Phase 5: Remaining Buildings
Phase 5 will provide the remaining Oval buildings with completely renewed services, some reconfiguration to replace outdated utilities, make-do accommodations, deteriorating insulation and windows.


If you would like to speak to someone for more information, please contact us at: or +44 (0) 1582 463300
If you would like to meet our site development team and have a guided tour of the site we would be very happy to meet you. We also have memory sticks available, that include 3D walk-throughs of the new Factory, architect designs, more detail of our overall vision and much more. 
Contact us and we will be glad to send you one.

Click here to download a copy of the Factory Brochure – A New vision for a New Season.

6 Highfield Oval, Harpenden, AL5 4BX, UK is the official website of Youth With A Mission Harpenden, a ministry of YWAM International and YWAM England. 
Registered charity number 1156783. Company registration number 8807913 in England and Wales.

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