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About Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes 

 

 

 

 

Milton Keynes , sometimes abbreviated MK, is a large town in BuckinghamshireEngland. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes and was formally designated as anew town on 23 January 1967, with the design brief to become a 'city' in scale. It is located about 45 mi (72 km) north-west of London

At designation, its 89 km2 (34 sq mi) area incorporated the existing towns ofBletchleyWolverton and Stony Stratford along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between. It took its name from the existing village of Milton Keynes, a few miles east of the planned centre.

At the 2011 census the population of the Milton Keynes urban area, including the adjacent Newport Pagnell and Woburn Sands, was 229,941,and that of the wider borough, which has been a unitary authorityindependent of Buckinghamshire County Council since 1997, was 248,800, (compared with a population of around 53,000 for the same area in 1961. Almost all the approx 196,000 population increase since 1961 has arisen in the urban area).

 




MK Montage.jpg
Top to bottom, left to right: The Xscape andTheatre seen from Campbell Park, former railway works and new housing in Wolverton,Milton Keynes Central railway station, the Central Milton Keynes skyline, The Church of Christ the Cornerstone and Bletchley's high street "Queensway".






History


In the 1960s, the British government decided that a further generation ofnew towns in the south-east of England was needed to relieve housing congestion in London.

Since the 1950s, overspill housing for several London boroughs had been constructed in Bletchley. Further studies in the 1960s identified north Buckinghamshire as a possible site for a large new town, a new city, encompassing the existing towns of Bletchley, Stony Stratford and Wolverton. The New Town (informally and in planning documents, "New City") was to be the biggest yet, with a target population of 250,000, in a 'designated area' of 21,850 acres (34.1 sq mi; 88.4 km2). The name "Milton Keynes" was taken from the existingvillage of Milton Keynes on the site.

The site was deliberately located equidistant from London, BirminghamLeicester,Oxford and Cambridge with the intention that it would be self-sustaining and eventually become a major regional centre in its own right. Planning control was taken from elected local authorities and delegated to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC).

The Corporation's strongly modernist designs featured regularly in the magazines Architectural Design and the Architects' Journal. MKDC was determined to learn from the mistakes made in the earlier New Towns and revisit the Garden City ideals. They set in place the characteristic grid roads that run between districts ('grid squares'), as well as the intensive planting, lakes and parkland that are so evident today. Central Milton Keynes was not intended to be a traditional town centre but a business and shopping district that supplemented the Local Centres in most of the grid squares. This non-hierarchical devolved city plan was a departure from the English New Towns tradition and envisaged a wide range of industry and diversity of housing styles and tenures across the city. The largest and almost the last of the British New Towns, Milton Keynes has stood the test of time far better than most, and has proved flexible and adaptable. The radical grid plan was inspired by the work of Californian urban theorist Melvin M. Webber (1921–2006), described by the founding architect of Milton Keynes, Derek Walker, as the "father of the city". Webber thought that telecommunications meant that the old idea of a city as a concentric cluster was out of date and that cities which enabled people to travel around them readily would be the thing of the future achieving "community without propinquity" for residents.

The Government wound up MKDC in 1992, 25 years after the new town was created, transferring control to the Commission for New Towns (CNT) and then finally to English Partnerships, with the planning function returning to local council control (since 1974 and the Local Government Act 1972, the Borough of Milton Keynes). From 2004 to 2011, a Governmentquango, the Milton Keynes Partnership, had development control powers to accelerate the growth of Milton Keynes.

Along with many other towns and boroughs, Milton Keynes competed for formal city status in the 2000, 2002 and 2012 competitions, but was not successful. Nevertheless, the term "city" is used by its citizens, local media and bus services to describe itself, perhaps because the term "town" is taken to mean one of the constituent towns. Road signs refer to "Central Milton Keynes" or "Shopping" when directing traffic to its centre.

 


Culture

 

 

 

65,000 capacity by the Green DayBullet in a Bible concert at National Bowl

 

 

 

 

The open air National Bowl is a 65,000 capacity venue for large scale events.

The 1,400 seat Milton Keynes Theatre opened in 1999. The theatre has an unusual feature: the ceiling can be lowered closing off the third tier (gallery) to create a more intimate space for smaller scale productions. There are further performance spaces in Bletchley, Wolverton, LeadenhallShenley Church EndStantonbury and Walton Hall.

The municipal public art gallery (Milton Keynes Gallery beside the main theatre) presents free exhibitions of international contemporary art.

In WavendonThe Stables provides a venue for jazzbluesfolk, rock, classical, pop and world music. It is closely associated with jazz artists Cleo Laine and the lateJohn Dankworth. The venue also hosts an annual summer camp for young musicians.

There are two museums: the Bletchley Park complex, which as well as housing the museum of wartime cryptography, also hosts the National Museum of Computing including a working replica of the Colossus computer, and the Milton Keynes Museum, which includes the Stacey Hill Collection of rural life that existed before the foundation of the new town.

MK also has a literature scene, with groups like Speakeasy meeting regularly and hosting performance events, and former poetry and arts magazine, Monkey Kettle which ran between 1999 and 2014. In addition, two performance poetrygroups exist  – Poetry Kapow!, an offshoot of Monkey Kettle though now independent of the parent organisation, specialising in live, multi-discipline, interactive poetry/art/music events, usually featuring slams; and Tongue in Chic, a regular open mic poetry event which features headline poets such as John Hegley.

In May 2011, the outgoing Mayor, Debbie Brock announced the appointment of Mark Niel as the first official Milton Keynes' Poet Laureate.

In July 2010, the Central Arts Centre was opened by Radio One DJ Jo Whiley. The centre is regenerated from the former Central Bus Station. It is home to the "Buszy" Skate Plaza, which is where the name for the regenerated venue has come from. The venue hosts independent cinema, live performance, gigs, art shows/exhibitions, dance activity, a thrift shop, office and conference facilities and the MK's only social enterprise hub.

Milton Keynes Arts Centre is situated in the historic village of Great Linford in the north of MK, between Wolverton and Newport Pagnell. Milton Keynes Arts Centre offers a year round exhibitions, families workshops and courses. Situated across many of Great Linford Manor's exterior buildings (barns, Almhouses, Pavilions), the Arts Centre offers a special historical setting.

Westbury Arts Centre is situated in the west of MK, near Shenley Wood. It is based in a 16th-century grade II listed Farmhouse building. The Art Centre has been providing spaces for professional working artists to create work since 1994. The oldest part of the house was built in the sixteenth century and has been greatly extended over the years. It has several acres of garden and is home to several protected species of bats and newts.

Milton Keynes also boasts several choirs – the OU Choir, the Milton Keynes Chorale, the New English Singers, the Cornerstone Choir, Quorum, and others, along with a variety of amateur drama groups, and amateur musical theatre groups.

Milton Keynes Forum is the registered civic society for MK.




Education 

 

 

The Open University's headquarters are based in the Walton Hall district, though as this is a distance learning institution, the only students resident on campus are approximately 200 full-time postgraduates. Cranfield University, an all-postgraduate institution, is in nearby Cranfield, Bedfordshire. Milton Keynes College providesfurther education up to foundation degree level, however a Postgraduate Certificate in Education course is available; run in partnership with and accredited by Oxford Brookes University.

In 1991 Leicester Polytechnic established a purpose built polytechnic campus in Kents Hill in Milton Keynes, opposite the Open University's Walton Hall site, which was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992. This was originally branded 'The Polytechnic: Milton Keynes'. Later in 1992 Leicester Polytechnic gained universitystatus and was renamed De Montfort University and the site was rebranded De Montfort University Milton Keynes. However, DMU closed the MK site in 2003 and the Open University has expanded to take over the buildings.

Although the town does not yet have its own conventional local university, its founders hope that the University Campus Milton Keynes will be the seed for a future 'Milton Keynes University'. It is currently the UK's largest population centre without its own university proper.

Like many parts of the UK, the state secondary schools in Milton Keynes are Comprehensive schools, such as Stantonbury Campus and Denbigh School, although schools in the rest of Buckinghamshire still use the Tripartite System. Results are above the national average, though below that of the rest of Buckinghamshire – but the demography of Milton Keynes is also far closer to the national average than is the latter. Access to selective schools is still possible in Milton Keynes as the grammar schools in Buckingham and Aylesbury accept some pupils from within the unitary authority area, with Buckinghamshire County Council operating bus services to ferry pupils to the schools.

Private schools in Milton Keynes include the 3 to 18 mixed sex Webber Independent School and the 2½ to 11 mixed sex Milton Keynes Preparatory School.

The Safety Centre is a purpose-built interactive centre which provides safety education to visiting schools and youth groups via its full-size interactive demonstrations known as Hazard Alley. Another educational organisation is the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre at Bradwell Abbey, which holds an extensive archive about Milton Keynes. MKCDC is therefore a research facility, as well as offering a broad education programme (with a focus on urban geography and local history) to schools, universities and professionals. MKCDC also holds an annual programme of events at the medieval priory site on which they are based.

 

 

 

Business

 

In November 2012, the Milton Keynes Citizen reported ratings company Experian as describing Milton Keynes as one of the leaders in a prospective economic recovery. The same report quoted the Estate Gazette as placing it first outside the M25 for office property growth.

Milton Keynes is home to several national and international companies, including the UK headquarters of ArgosDomino's PizzaMarshall AmplificationMercedes-BenzSuzukiVolkswagen AG and Yamaha Kemble.

 

 

 

Original towns and villages




Milton Keynes consists of many pre-existing towns and villages, as well as new infill developments. The designated area outside the four main towns (Bletchley, Newport Pagnell, Stony Stratford, Wolverton) was largely rural farmland but included many picturesque North Buckinghamshire villages and hamlets: Bradwell village and its Abbey, Broughton, Caldecotte, Fenny Stratford, Great Linford, Loughton, Milton Keynes Village, New Bradwell, Shenley Brook End, Shenley Church End, Simpson,Stantonbury, Tattenhoe, Tongwell, Walton, Water Eaton, Wavendon, Willen, Great and Little Woolstone, Woughton on the Green. The historical settlements have been focal points for the modern development of the new town. Every grid square has historical antecedents, if only in the field names. The more obvious ones are listed below and most have more detailed articles.

Bletchley was first recorded in the 12th century as Blechelai. Its station was a majorVictorian junction (the London and North Western Railway with the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity Line), leading to the substantial urban growth in the town in that period. It expanded to absorb the villages of Water Eaton and Fenny Stratford.

Bletchley Park was home to the Government Code and Cypher School during the Second World War. The famous Enigma code was cracked here, and the building housed what was arguably the world's first programmable computer, Colossus. The house is now a museum of war memorabilia, cryptography and computing.

The Benedictine Priory of Bradwell Abbey at Bradwell was of major economic importance in this area of north Buckinghamshire before the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The routes of the medieval trackways (many of which are now Redways or bridleways) converge on the site from some distance. Nowadays there is only a small medieval chapel and a manor house occupying the site.

New Bradwell, to the north of the medieval Bradwell (Abbey) and just across the canal and the railway to the east of Wolverton, was built specifically for railway workers. It has a working windmill, although technically this lies just a few yards outside of the parish boundary. The level bed of the old Wolverton to Newport Pagnell Line ends here and has been converted to a Redway, making it a favourite route for cycling.

Great Linford appears in the Domesday Book as Linforde, and features a church dedicated to Saint Andrew, dating from 1215. Today, the outer buildings of the 17th century manor house form an Arts Centre, and Linford Manor is a prestigious recording studio.

Milton Keynes Village is the original village to which the New Town owes its name. The original village is still evident, with a pleasant thatched pub, village hall, church and traditional housing. The area around the village has reverted to its original name of Middleton, as shown on old maps of the 1700s. The oldest[51] surviving domestic building in the area, a 14th-century manor house, is here.

There has been a market in Stony Stratford since 1194 (by charter of King Richard I). The Rose and Crown Inn at Stratford is reputedly the last place the Princes in the Tower were seen alive.

The manor house of Walton village, Walton Hall, is the headquarters of the Open University and the tiny parish church(deconsecrated) is in its grounds.

The tiny Parish Church (1680) at Willen contains the only unaltered building by the architect and physicist Robert Hooke. Nearby, there is a Buddhist Temple and a Peace Pagoda which was built in 1980 and was the first in the western world.[52]The district borders the River Ouzel: there is a large balancing lake here, to capture flash floods before they cause problems downstream on the River Great Ouse. The north basin is a wildlife sanctuary and a favourite of migrating aquatic birds. The south basin is for leisure use, favoured by wind surfers and dinghy sailors. The circuit of the lakes is a favoured "fun run".

The original Wolverton was a medieval settlement just north and west of today's town. The Ridge and Furrow pattern of agriculture can still be seen in the nearby fields and the Saxon (rebuilt in 1819) Church of the Holy Trinity still stands next to the Norman Motte and Bailey site. Modern Wolverton was a 19th-century New Town built to house the workers at theWolverton railway works (which built engines and carriages for the London and North Western Railway).

 
 

 

During World War II, British, Polish and American cryptographers atBletchley Park broke a large number ofAxis codes and ciphers, including the German Enigma machine.


The 1815 windmill near New Bradwell village, beside the playing fields



Stony Stratford high street in festive mood

 

 

 






 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Keynes


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