Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stantonbury

Here are the origins of New Bradwell. the railways works at Wolverton Station needed to expand; the Radcliffe Trust were unwilling to part with any more farmland, so the railway company directors turned to the neighbouring parish for a solution. Here is a map of those first streets in 1860 - Bridge Street, Spencer Street and the High street - all built up the hill away from the flood plain. What a difference from today when governments quite happily authorise the building of houses on land subject to flooding, whereas in the 19th century no self-respecting builder would have contemplated such an action - unless he was building a watermill.
The brick for these houseswas a grayish yellow and never looked attractive to my eyes, yet these were the houses which survived the wrecker's ball due to a campaign by arriviste Milton Keynesers who were keen to preserve the Railway heritage. I would not have shed a tear if they had been destroyed in the 1960s but today I am ambivalent. Had the houses in Ledsam or Creed Streets in Wolverton survived we would have preserved some of the earliest houses from the 1840s, but at the time of the development of Stantonbury somewhat better looking houses were being erected on Church Street and the Stratford Road in Wolverton so there are plenty of examples of 1860s housing but one gfrom the 1840s!
The ancient parish was Stantonbury with a church near the river at Stanton Low. This church was dedicated to St Peter and although long since abandoned, retains its name in the local footall club - New Bradwell St Peter.
The name Stantonbury fell into disuse as the new settlers here liked the name New Bradwell better. The name of Stantonbury was only revived when the new comprehensive school was built on the hill in the 1970s.

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