Area Guide: The quaint village of Markyate

The Plume of Feathers, High Street, Markyate. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Plume of Feathers, High Street, Markyate. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The picture perfect village of Markyate is located in North Hertfordshire, on the boundary of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Close to the borders of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Markyate has been part of all three counties at various points in its history.

High Street, Markyate. Picture: DANNY LOO

High Street, Markyate. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Amenities

Most of Markyate's amenities are arranged around its historic high street, which is lined with period buildings. 

This charming strip is home to a thriving mix of independent shops and a few chains, 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.


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Property

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.

There has been a car crash on the A5 in Markyate. Picture: Danny Loo

Welcome to Markyate. - Credit: Archant

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Homes currently on the market in Markyate include a three-bed equestrian facility on Friendless Lane for £1.5m and a two-bed terrace on George Street for £295,000. 

According to Rightmove, the average sale price for property in Markyate over the last year was £388,124. 

Transport

About 15 minutes by car from Harpenden, Luton and St Albans, the area has strong transport links; it is close to the M1 and around five miles from Luton Airport Parkway and Luton train stations.

Pubs

The Swan, High Street, Markyate. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Swan, High Street, Markyate. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Schools

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.

Notable residents

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 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.

Her former home was listed for sale earlier this year for £9.5m. The estate dates back to the 1100s and includes an orchard, woodland, formal gardens and parkland. 

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden...

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches) - Credit: Archant


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