Wicked Lady's former home for sale for £9.5m

The nine-bed mansion is set in more than 80 acres of grounds. 

The nine-bed mansion is set in more than 80 acres of grounds. - Credit: Kingsly Group

The Markyate former home of Lady Katherine Ferrers – better known as the Wicked Lady – is on the market for £9.5m.  

The 17th century aristocrat is the most famous former resident of Grade II* listed Markyate Cell, which sits in 82 acres of parkland and formal gardens immediately north of the village. 

The current owners embarked on a careful plan to restore the property and grounds in keeping with its Elizabethan heritage.

The current owners embarked on a careful plan to restore the property and grounds in keeping with its Elizabethan heritage. - Credit: Kingsly Group

At 13-years-old she was married 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. 

Legend has it that Katherine took her financial fortunes into her own hands, and became a highwaywoman. 

She's believed to have been killed by a gunshot wound in a botched robbery on Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead, aged just 26. 

The estate is immediately north of Markyate village. 

The estate is immediately north of Markyate village. - Credit: Kingsly Group

Stone Tudor fireplaces are among the mansion's character features. 

Stone Tudor fireplaces are among the mansion's character features. - Credit: Kingsly Group


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The mansion house, along with three cottages and a self-contained flat, offers accommodation in excess of 15,000 sq ft.

The estate dates back to the 1100s and includes an orchard, woodland, formal gardens and parkland. 

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Markyate Cell’s current owners have restored the property and grounds in keeping with its Elizabethan heritage.

Many original features remain, including a Jacobean oak staircase, wood panelling, grand stone windows, arched doorways and ornate ceilings.  

One of Markyate Cell's spectacular bathrooms. 

One of Markyate Cell's spectacular bathrooms. - Credit: Kingsly Group

Period features include ornate ceilings, wood panelling and stone windows. 

Period features include ornate ceilings, wood panelling and stone windows. - Credit: Kingsly Group

Best of all is the Tudor stone fireplace leading to a secret passageway - supposedly Lady Katherine’s night-time route in and out of the house.

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