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Humbershoe In General

Markyate Village Hall January 2010
Markyate Village Hall January 2010

Humbershoe was a hamlet in the ancient parish of Studham and so in the Manshead Hundred. Studham was divided into portions in Bedfordshire and in Hertfordshire, Humbershoe lying in the Bedfordshire portion of Studham. In 1866 Humbershoe became a separate civil parish in Bedfordshire. In 1897 Humbershoe was combined with a detached portion of Houghton Regis and portions of Caddington in both Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire together with a portion of the Hertfordshire ancient parish of Flamstead to form the new civil parish of Markyate in Hertfordshire. Thus after a thousand years or so of history the west side of the High Street as far south as the junction with Buckwood Road ceased to be a part of Bedfordshire. Humbershoe had been part of the ecclesiastical parish of Markyate Street since 1877.

Markyate High Street looking south January 2010
Markyate High Street looking south January 2010

Until the latter part of the 20th century the High Street was, in fact, Watling Street, or the A5. The road was (and is) very narrow at this point and was a bottleneck for traffic, causing the bypass to be built, the A5 now running to the east of Markyate.