Facts about Milton Keynes… did you know?

Posted 27th April 2017

Milton Keynes is 50 this year, here are 49 facts about the town and surrounding area.

  1. There are 400 acres of lakes including Willen Lake and Caldecotte Lake.
  2. In 1971 The Open University at Walton Hall welcomed its first students.
  3. The Church of Christ the Cornerstone is 119 feet high.
  4. The ruins of a Roman Villa can be found at Bancroft.
  5. Poet William Cowper used to live in Olney in the 18th
  6. The Concrete Cows were made by artist Liz Leyh.
  7. Bestselling author, Carole Matthews lives in Milton Keynes, and some of her books are set there.
  8. The design of the shopping centre in Central Milton Keynes was inspired by 19th Century European shopping arcades.
  9. The Parks Trust in Milton Keynes plants around 100 trees and shrubs every day!
  10. Milton Keynes Theatre opened in 1999.
  11. Greg Rutherford, who won gold in the 2012 London Olympics for the long jump, is from Milton Keynes.
  12. Home to four times Formula 1 Constructors Championship winners Red Bull Racing. The factory is situated in Tilbrook.
  13. Charles Dickens stayed in Stony Stratford occasionally.
  14. Artists Boyd and Evans have lived in Milton Keynes since 1982.
  15. The United Kingdom’s Royal Train is kept in Wolverton.
  16. Woburn Abbey began life as a monastery.
  17. Alan Turing, who designed a machine which deciphered Enigma messages, worked at both Bletchley Park and Hanslope Park.
  18. Queen Elizabeth II has visited on more than one occasion, including a visit in 2007when she officially opened The Hub and Stadium: MK.
  19. Built in 1810, Tickford Bridge in Newport Pagnell is the oldest cast iron bridge in the world that is still open to traffic.
  20. The Stables, a famous music venue in Wavendon, was founded by Dame Cleo Laine and her husband, the late Sir John Dankworth.
  21. Over one million books (and other items), have been issued by Milton Keynes Libraries in the past year.
  22. There are 124 roundabouts in Milton Keynes.
  23. The United Kingdom’s first 4DX cinema opened there in 2015.
  24. Central Milton Keynes train station was featured in the 1987 film, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
  25. Lewis star Kevin Whately lives in Woburn Sands.
  26. The first Peace Pagoda to be built in the West can be found at Willen Lake North.
  27. Willen Hospice opened in 1981.
  28. There are over 200 pieces of public artwork.
  29. Milton Keynes is putting in a bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023.
  30. The first driverless car trials in the United Kingdom were launched there in 2015.
  31. The Duchess of Bedford turned Woburn Abbey into a military hospital during World War 1.
  32. A pancake race is held in Olney every year, a tradition which began in 1445.
  33. James the Great Church in Long Street, Hanslope, has the tallest spire in the county of Buckinghamshire.
  34. Aston Martin sports cars were made in Newport Pagnell for 52 years.
  35. The centre:mk was officially opened in September 1979 by the late Margaret Thatcher.
  36. The Duchess of Cambridge’s grandmother worked at Bletchley Park during World War Two.
  37. Both the centre:mk and Central Library have been awarded Grade II listed status.
  38. In the 19th century, Mary Ann Evans (pen name George Eliot), visited relatives in Stony Stratford regularly. The town is mentioned in Eliot’s novel, Adam Bede.
  39. Home to Britain’s first multiplex cinema – The Point – which was built in 1985.
  40. William Cowley Parchment Makers of Caldecote Street in Newport Pagnell is the last place in the United Kingdom which makes parchment and vellum.
  41. There are more bridges in Milton Keynes than there are in Venice.
  42. The grid road system was designed to keep traffic flowing.
  43. The National Bowl was a former clay-pit.
  44. The MK Rose at Campbell Park is intended to be a place of reflection.
  45. Milton Keynes’ newest library is at Kingston. It opened in 2015.
  46. It has been predicted that there will be over 300,000 people living in Milton Keynes by 2026.
  47. Snozone at Xscape has a 170 metre long slope which is covered in more than 1700 tonnes of real snow!
  48. The redway system, a network of paths for walkers and cyclists, was originally going to be called pedway.
  49. Plans for celebrating Milton Keynes’ 50th Birthday are well underway. Follow @CultureMK on Twitter to keep up-to-date.