Meet Hollie Markham, our Head of Operations

Tell us about House of St Johns – what’s the atmosphere like?

Focused on community, inclusion and informal luxury, we want the House of St John’s to be the place to work, connect and grow.

Situated at Number 1 Queen Square, the beautifully restored Grade 1-listed building now houses a variety of private offices, dedicated desks and co-working areas, together with a bookable boardroom, elegant event space and stylish lounge and bar. High-end fixtures and fittings are complemented by ultra-fast broadband and, unusually for central Bath, we also have an outdoor terrace. With attentive staff to ensure everything runs smoothly, House of St John’s offers the perfect place for the new hybrid working lifestyle.

What services does the House offer?

We pride the House on its contemporary feel – it’s old meets new, a retro vibe within a Grade 1 listed building. The space gives members full flexibility on how they want to work, and where from.

Private offices – our private offices – which can accommodate companies of all shapes and sizes – are designed to offer the best of both worlds; privacy when you need it, while still feeling part of a larger community when using the lounges, also giving you access 247

Dedicated desk – If being around like-minded professionals but having a permanent desk of your own is what you need, then a Dedicated desk is the way forward. Whether you are an early bird who likes to start work at 6am, or someone who needs to be online at 11pm, the desk will be yours and yours alone with 247 access

Co-working – This option provides the ultimate in flexibility, enabling you to move around and choose a different environment dependent on that day’s needs – one day it might be a quiet corner in our library, or the next you want to be among the buzz of a communal lounge

Lounge membership – this is perfect for people who need a special place where they feel comfortable ‘just dropping in’ when out and about on business in Bath. 

Meeting roomsa variety of bookable meeting rooms are available for both our members and external guest. These can accommodate up to 16 people.

Event space – our elegant, triple-aspect, parquet-floored event space comprises two inter-connected rooms. These can be opened to use the space in its entirety, or you may prefer to keep the two separate rooms.

What kinds of businesses tend to use the House of St John’s

We don’t believe there is a particular type of business that will choose to access our workspace.  Everyone and anyone can be a member, even more so, post-pandemic, with the hybrid working lifestyle becoming more common. There are many benefits to ‘mixing up’ your working environment and we fully expect our members to change their whereabouts in the House to best accommodate the task at hand.  

The interior design of the House means that when focus is required, you can book one of our private meeting rooms. While our permanent offices offer a home-from-home environment with access to our co-working lounges, giving you the choice that best suits your working day.


Why is co-working such an attractive prospect? Especially now when so many people are working from home more easily than ever

Because it offers the ultimate in flexibility. Many people are now looking for that ‘third space’ – that is to say, a place that is neither your home, nor your official workplace but a space outside of these areas. Most of us don’t have the luxury of a separate office area in our homes and no longer welcome the encroach of the office onto the dining room table. Most people need that demarcation between work and home – even for part of the week.  Furthermore, apart from virtually, you do not have the opportunity to meet and interact with other like-minded people when you work from home.

With this in mind, the team at the House has done all it can to make its members feel as comfortable, if not more, as they would at home.  Keeping it local, I have added beautiful greenery from Botanica Studios, luxury toiletries from Natural Spa Factory, Artwork from Modern Art Buyer, and a vast collection of reading materials and the full collection from our local bookshop Persephone. It helps that the House is large enough to give its members the flexibility to explore different areas of the building, as well as offering a private outdoor area to give people a break from their devices.

This is a newish role for you, isn’t it? What attracted you to House of St Johns? 

I joined the House of St John’s team in October 2021, as their Head of Operations, at a pinnacle moment for the project – it’s been an extremely busy few months for me!

One of the main factors that attracted to me to the role was the social purpose element of the House. I felt my previous roles were lacking that ‘feel good, give back, do better factor’ that I desperately wanted. Our profits will be gifted to our charity partner, St John’s Foundation, specifically for their Foundation Fund which support disadvantaged children in our community.

Since I started five months ago, not one day has been the same for me. I love the variety of hosting client tours, meeting suppliers, finalising room designs – all while continuing to promote our offering in Bath. We spend so much time at work and it’s important to enjoy what you do.  I’m thrilled to have joined St Johns foundation and be a member of the House of St Johns team.  

I’m equally excited that we are officially open for business and I can’t wait to see what this year has install for us!  

What’s a challenge you’ve encountered so far and how did you overcome it?

Creating a unique and innovative business model was so important to me. Of course, great co-working spaces already exist in Bath and so I had to find our place in the market and then create something that works for our members. I believe the House fills a gap in the Bath market and is the only luxury, high-end workplace that also satisfies a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility needs.

Becoming a member of the House not only supports your business and personal growth but also positively influences the community around you.  With profits from memberships donated to our charity partner, St John’s Foundation, simply by signing up to become a member, you are helping to create a positive impact on disadvantaged children in our region. Furthermore, we are hopeful that our members will naturally form networks of like-minded people committed to making our society that bit better.

You’ve spent a lot of your career in leadership and management roles – what’s your management philosophy? 

I would never ask someone to do something that I wasn’t willing to do myself. I like to listen and be flexible to other’s needs – I’ve always found this management style has allowed me to get the best out of people.

Has being in the House of St John’s shown you anything new or surprising about the Bath business community?

Absolutely. Firstly, it’s revealed how vast and diverse the Bath business market has become.

Secondly, it’s clear to me that most people want to connect with others and to be part of something bigger than themselves.  As I’ve already touched on, we’re striving to build a community of like-minded individuals through our membership. We know that conversations that start casually while making a cup of coffee, can often segue into a more substantial connection or be the ignition for a creative spark. Everyone has something to contribute and, by working together, we strive to bring about positive societal change while benefitting members careers.

What are three of your favourite things to do in Bath – and why did you choose them?

  1. Simply taking 10 minutes out my day to wander around Bath – soaking up the atmosphere, the architecture, the gardens, and the independent shops and restaurants. It’s so easy to get consumed by the working day and forget how beautiful and historic Bath is.
  2. Supporting independent business – so, essentially shopping! Bath has so many wonderful places to nip into when I fancy treating myself. I love exploring new places, but my personal favourites have to be: Whole Lotta Knots, Good Day Café, Gaff, Pinxto, Hideout, The Tea Emporium and Botanica Studio. If you haven’t been to any of them yet I urge you to go! What’s more, our members all get to benefit from discounts from some of Bath’s finest independents through our ‘Just Across the Square’ scheme
  3. My third choice has to be the Theatre Royal – Why go to London when we have one of the best theatres on our doorstep? It’s such a beautiful building and offers a variety of performances, with productions often coming to Bath straight from their London run.  Watching a play offers true escapism in our increasingly frenetic lives.

Interested in viewing the House of St John’s? Book your tour today at hello@hosj.co.uk