The quaint, picture perfect village of Markyate is in North Hertfordshire, and is situated on the boundary of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We found out more...

Herts Advertiser: Welcome to Markyate

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


The name of the village had several former variants, including Markyate Street, Market Street and Mergyate.

A Benedictine convent was founded in 1145 in a wood just north of Markyate, which was known as both 'Holy Trinity in the Wood' and 'Markyate Priory'.

The first prioress was Christina of Markyate. Born with the name Theodora into a wealthy merchant family, her mother told a story of 'knowing' her daughter would be holy because a dove had flown into her sleeve and lived there for seven days while she was pregnant.

The priory was dissolved in around 1537, and a large country house was built on the site called Markyate Cell, now known as the Grade II* listed Cell Park.


The majority of the village's amenities are arranged around its historic high street, which is lined with period buildings.

This strip of shops is home to a thriving mix of independent businesses along with a few chains, including a pharmacy, beauty salon, estate agency, dry clearners, convenience store and post office, fish and chip and kebab shop and a cluster of curry houses.

There's also the popular village bakery, Pruden's, which was founded in 1928.


Markyate has a number of period homes in and around the village centre, while many more modern properties have been built between High Street and the Markyate bypass since the 1950s.

Since 2014, new shops and houses have also been built in the area off Hicks Road, which was once occupied by light industry.

Herts Advertiser: High Street, Markyate

Homes currently on the market in Markyate include a three-bedroom detached property on High Street for £600,000 and a two-bedroom character cottage at George Street for £330,000. 

According to Rightmove, properties in Markyate had an overall average price of £461,971 over the last year. 


Markyate is about 15 minutes by car from Harpenden, Luton and St Albans, and has strong transport links.

The village is close to the M1 and around five miles away from Luton Airport Parkway and Luton train stations.


Markyate was a popular stop-off point for travellers in the coaching era, with five public houses serving people passing through.

Just two traditional pubs remain: The Plume of Feathers in London Road and The Swan in High Street.

Herts Advertiser: The Plume of Feathers, High Street, Markyate


Markyate Village School and Nursery has around 250 pupils, aged between three and 11, and was rated 'good' by Ofsted at its most recent inspection in December 2019.

On the outskirts of the village there is also Beechwood Park, an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged from three to 13.

Herts Advertiser: The Swan, High Street, Markyate

Notable residents 

Markyate has had several notable residents over the years, including Chris White, the bassist and songwriter for St Albans band The Zombies.

Going significantly further back in time, Markyate was home to the notorious highwaywoman Katherine Ferrers, known as the Wicked Lady.

Lady Katherine was an English aristocrat who - according to legend - terrorised Hertfordshire as a highwaywoman during the Civil War.

In her early teens, Lady Katherine 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.

In order to take her financial future into her own hands, Katherine embarked on a highly successful career as a highwaywoman, before she was reportedly killed by a gunshot wound in a botched robbery.

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

Lady Katherine would allegedly dress in men's clothes and escape into the night via a secet staircase at the country house.

Herts Advertiser: This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and HarpendenThis area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (Image: Frost's)