In medieval times a community of Benedictine nuns was established in Markyate by Christina. On the ruins of the original priory a manor house, Markyate Cell was built, many additions have been made to the house, over the centuries but parts of the original Tudor building are intact. Markyate’s Parish Church, St John the Baptist, stands on a corner of the grounds of Markyate Cell.
One of the most notorious residents of the Cell was Lady Katherine Ferrers known as ‘The Wicked Lady’. According to legend she was in an unhappy marriage and repressed by a bullying and overbearing husband. She rebelled by dressing as a man and using a secret stairway to escape to farm stables from where she ventured out at night to become a highway robber. Rumour has it she can still be seen riding across the fields.
Markyate houses many businesses: the High Street has a well-known local Bakery (est. 1928) and Bakers shop, a Dispensing Chemist, a well stocked village store (Nisa) with integral post office and ATM open from 6am to 9pm, a Hardware and DIY store, a newsagent, an award-winning restaurant, two pubs, two take-aways, three hairdressers and beauty parlours.
For the young people there are brownies, beavers and scouts. There is a Football and Cricket Club.
For the young at heart there is the Good Companions 60-plus, All Age Choir, Methodist Sisterhood, bowls, over 50 fitness club, Markyate Health Walkers and Local History Society.
Today Markyate enjoys a real community spirit where you will always receive a warm welcome.