Area Guide: The pretty Hertfordshire village of Markyate
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
An attractive village located on the boundary of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s easy to see Markyate’s appeal. We found out more about this pretty part of Hertfordshire...
The North Hertfordshire village of Markyate lies close to the borders of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and has been part of all three counties at various points in its history as their boundaries have shifted.
About 15 minutes by car from Harpenden, Luton and St Albans, the area has strong transport links; it is close to the M1 and less than four miles from Luton Airport Parkway and Luton train stations.
While there are period homes aplenty in and around the village centre, many more modern properties have been built between the High Street and the Markyate bypass since the 1950s. Since 2014, new shops and houses have also shot up in the area off Hicks Road, which was once occupied by light industry.
Homes currently on the market in Markyate range from a one-bed maisonette on London Road (£189,950) to a five-bed detached property with separate annexe and stable block on Green Lane (£1.5m).
According to Rightmove, the average sale price for property in Markyate over the last year was £368,500, down 3 per cent on the previous year and 11 per cent on the 2017 peak of £412,355.
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The quaint High Street is full of great little shops, including a pharmacy, a beauty salon, an estate agency, a dry cleaners, a convenience store with post office, a fish and chip and kebab shop and a cluster of curry houses. Then there’s popular village baker, Pruden’s, which was founded in 1928.
Markyate was a popular stop-off point in the coaching era, with five public houses serving those passing through. Just two traditional pubs remain: The Plume of Feathers and The Swan.
They were recently joined by The Local, a micropub which opened on High Street in 2016. Serving local ales as well as wines, ciders and soft drinks, it describes itself as “a pub like they used to be”, proudly offering absolutely no keg lager, spirits, large TV screens or electronic games.
Markyate Village School and Nursery has around 250 pupils on roll, aged between three and 11. The school was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection in December 2019.
Beechwood Park, an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged from three to 13 is located on the outskirts of the village.
Along with Chris White, bassist and songwriter for St Albans band The Zombies, Markyate has had several residents of interest over the years, including ‘Wicked Lady’, Katherine Ferrers.
Lady Katherine was an English aristocrat who, according to legend, terrorised the residents of Hertfordshire as a highwaywoman during the Civil War. In her early teens she was married off to Sir Thomas Fanshawe, who took control of her estate and sold off many of her assets, including her manor at Flamstead and much of its surrounding land. Katherine decided to take her financial future into her own hands, and was highly successful, before she was reportedly killed by a gunshot wound in a botched robbery.