Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wolverton Street Names - IV

1870s and 1880s

The streets known as Buckingham Street and Aylesbury Street were the next phase of development. Clearly some thought was given to the provision of a square but no effort was made at this time to build on it. After allowing the Stratford Road and Church Street to be open to private development, the LNWR returned to building its own houses along the north side of Buckingham Street, which is why they all look the same. These terraces were probably finished by 1878. The south side was left to private development. Consequently, builder constructed them a few at a time and you can see different building styles.

The plan below shows the intended layout of the new streets. A small start has been made on the south side of Buckingham Street and the block above the Square has been reserved for the Congregational Church.

The Wolverton Building Society was founded in 1878

The names are clearly a nod to the county's ancient towns.

The three short streets built up to Green Lane were Radcliffe Street, Bedford Street and Oxford Street. Radcliffe Street was obviously named to honour the Radcliffe Trust but the motivation behind Bedford and Oxford is more obscure. If they were choosing neighbouring county towns why, or example did Northampton not get a look in? It is certainly nearer than Oxford and commercial connections with Oxford at that time must have been very tenuous. I can only think that after the parish of Wolverton was transferred from Lincoln (where it had resided for centuries) to Oxford people in Wolverton felt more affinity to Oxford as its episcopal seat.

It's possible too that they were thinking of the cross-country road that linked Bedford with Oxford.

Construction seems to have started on these streets in the late 1870s and by 1885 they were complete. Bedford Street started development in 1880 and Oxford Street followed later in the decade.

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