Our parish is located in the North West of the city of Milton Keynes and consists of the town of Wolverton, with Old Wolverton, and nearby estates of Greenleys, Hodge Lea, Stacey Bushes and the industry in Stonebridge. To the north of Wolverton lies Ouse Valley Park which includes the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve and Iron Trunk Aqueduct; to the west is Stony Stratford, a historic market and coaching town, and to the east and south sits the rest of Milton Keynes.
The Secret Garden
In a patch of ground alongside the Grand Union Canal members of the local community transformed a piece of derelict land into a new greenspace for the enjoyment of all of the community - the Secret Garden. The Secret Garden can only be accessed on foot, either from the canal towpath or from Stratford Road near the train station. Originally sited on the land were large villas built for the railway works’ senior managers, you can still see the preserved cellar of one of the villas. There are also a number of sculptures in the garden, which is maintained by volunteers. Alongside the canal is the black and white mural of a steam train. This mural is the work of the late Bill Billings, a community artist who lived and worked in Milton Keynes.
To find out more information on the Secret Garden including events and activities held please visit The Secret Garden Facebook page
and the Living Archive entry
. Better still, why not visit yourself?
The Community Orchard
Hidden away in the alleyway off Woburn Avenue, at the back of Western Road, sits the Community Orchard. The site used to be used for allotments but became disused and there were fears that it might be used for development. In 2003 the community were consulted about turning the site into a community orchard and residents formed a group to take on the project and regenerate the site. The orchard now includes a sensory garden, an original railway carriage and of course, apple trees. It is usually unlocked and welcomes everyone to visit for a moment or two of peace and calm. If you are interested in learning more or would like to volunteer, visit The Community Orchard Facebook page.
St George the Martyr
Built in 1843 by the railway company, as the District Church of St George the Martyr, Wolverton Station, St George’s is the world’s first railway church built for the workers of the railway. The church was paid for by the railway company and the Radcliffe Trust.
Holy Trinity and Medieval Wolverton
The church of Holy Trinity is the original parish church of the Saxon settlement of Wolverton. It overlooks the Ouse Valley and stands on what was formerly the site of Wolverton motte and bailey castle, the large mound behind the church is all that remains. The castle was built in 1110 AD by the de Wolverton family and the remains of the medieval village can be seen in the fields east and west of the church. The medieval church was replaced in 1815 and the new building was designed in a historical style, incorporating the 14th century central tower. You can read more about the churches on the Wolverton Benefice website
Nearby Manor Farm stands on the site of a large medieval grange, a monastic farm established by the Oxfordshire priory of Clattercote. The farm was rebuilt in the 19th century after falling into disrepair but some buildings from the 17th century remain.
The Old Bath House
The Old Bath House was built in 1890 between the Finishing Shop and the Horse Box Repair Shop on Stratford Road. It was built by the London and North Western Railway Company as a public bath house for residents and railway workers in Wolverton.
In 1992 Tesco obtained planning permission to build a new superstore on neighbouring land, on the condition that they financed a brand-new community centre and refurbished the Old Bath House. The new centre became home to Living Archive, who stayed at the Old Bath House collecting and preserving Milton Keynes’ history until they moved to Milton Keynes Museum in 2013. The Old Bath House is now a community centre, you can visit The Old Bath House website to find out more.
Milton Keynes Museum
The history of Milton Keynes didn't start in the 1960s! Find out all about the history of our extraordinary city at the Milton Keynes Museum, a converted Victorian farmhouse dating from 1847. The Museum hosts local artefacts relating to the heritage of Milton Keynes. This is a great place to visit with all the family to learn about the rich history of our railway towns, farming and printing industry and much more. From McConnell Drive you should be able to spot a replica Bloomer, said drive is named after the Superintendent of Wolverton Works who designed the “Bloomer” locomotive. For more information visit MK Museum’s website
Iron Trunk Aqueduct and Grand Union Canal
As you walk along the canal from Old Wolverton you can discover The Iron Trunk Aqueduct which is a magnificent Georgian structure, which carries the Grand Union Canal over the River Ouse. Built in 1811 by canal engineer Benjamin Beavan, following the collapse of the previous brick-built structure, the aqueduct stands at an impressive 10.8 metres high and connects Wolverton with Cosgrove. In 2011 the Iron Trunk Aqueduct celebrated its bicentenary and the Town Council were awarded a grant from the Lottery to invest in improvements. Visit the Canal River Trust's website
for a brief history of the Iron Trunk Aqueduct and to download the Iron Aqueduct Trails with places of interest you can visit along the way.
Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve
The reserve is a 48-hectare habitat creation project on an area which was previously used for mineral extraction. The project has created water channels, pools, marshy areas and islands which has developed into a diverse ecosystem now colonised by wildlife. There are paths throughout the reserve and bird hides, a popular location for bird watches and dog walkers. The reserve is owned and managed by the Parks Trust and you can read more about it and other green spaces on the Parks Trust website
There are numerous other sites and buildings of historical interest around Wolverton, if you would like to visit them all why not download the Town Trails App
and make an afternoon of it?