From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 51°50′10″N 0°27′18″W / 51.836°N 0.455°W / 51.836; -0.455

Markyate is located in Hertfordshire
 Markyate shown within Hertfordshire
OS grid reference TL065165
District Dacorum
Shire county Hertfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ST ALBANS
Postcode district AL3
Dialling code 01582
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Hemel Hempstead
List of places

Markyate is a village and civil parish in north-west Hertfordshire close to the border with Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.


Contracted in name from 'Market Street', and having several former name variants, including Markyate Street and Mergyate, Markyate has been a part of all three counties since it was first founded as the county boundaries have changed over the years. At one point the boundary was the line of the main road itself; Hertfordshire to the east and Bedfordshire to the west. Markyate is located close to the source of the River Ver which has occasionally flooded the centre of the village, though the watercourse is often dry during parts of the year.

Part of the Dacorum Borough Council district (centred on Hemel Hempstead), it has Luton (01582) phone numbers and a St Albans postal code (AL3). Although historically a rural and agricultural area it is now a dormitory village for Luton and the surrounding region as it also lies a short distance from the M1 motorway.

Lying on Watling Street, the Roman road (now the A5), between St Albans and Dunstable it was a major coaching stop on the highway from London to Birmingham, at one point having over forty inns and public houses along its main road, and the village was one of the earliest sites of the Pickfords transport service, one road out of the village being named Pickford Road. During the twelfth century Christina of Markyate was the Prioress of a Benedictine community in the area.

The village lies near the junction of the A5 and the B4540 (for Luton and Caddington). A bypass for the A5 was constructed to the east of the village in 1955. South along the A5 is Flamstead and junction 9 of the M1.


Markyate first became a separate ecclesiastical parish, known as Markyate Street, in 1877. It was an amalgamation of portions of the ancient parishes of Flamstead, Caddington (both in Bedfordshire and in Hertfordshire), Studham, and a detached portion of Houghton Regis.

On 30 September 1897 the Bedfordshire civil parish of Humbershoe [1] (created in 1866 from part of the ancient parish of Studham), the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire portions of Caddington, Flamstead, a detached portion of Houghton Regis known as Buckwood Stubbs [2] [3] (tithe map [4]), including a detached portion of Whipsnade, Ballington Bottom in Hertfordshire, were all brought together into one civil parish of Markyate.

Growth since the 1950s has been by in-filling with new housing in what was the gap between the old A5 High Street and the new A5 Markyate by-pass.

The Gainsborough film The Wicked Lady was based on events surrounding the life of Lady Katherine Ferrers — the wife of the major landowner in the area – at Markyate Cell. Parts of the film The Dirty Dozen were also filmed in the village and surrounding area, the stockade being built in the grounds of the local preparatory school.

Markyate was scene of one of the first motoring accidents in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]


Markyate has two junior schools, Markyate JMI (state) and Beechwood Park School (independent). The latter is located south-west of the village in Beechwood Park, the site of a former Benedictine nunnery. Adjacent to the park was an Army Y-station during WW2. Beechwood Park lent its name to a song by The Zombies, written by the group's bassist Chris White. The song has since been covered by Beck Hansen.

From its height in the coaching era, only two public houses now remain in the village; The Plume of Feathers and The Swan. The White Hart closed in the early 1970s followed by The Red Lion at the end of 2009, both of which became private dwellings, and the Sun Inn in 2014. With its proximity to M1 Motorway and London Luton Airport a large three-star hotel is located just south-east of the village.

Notable residents[edit]

External links[edit]