Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wolverton and district in 1824


Very little of the Wolverton area from the early 19th century is now recognisable. Even the Watling Street has now been broken up.

This map was published in 1825 and based on a survey of 1824 by a man called A. Bryant. Little is known about him, not even his first name, but the map survives and pre-dates the Ordnance Survey by a decade.

The Wolverton Road followed its old course along the valley. It was at that time a toll road and toll houses were to be found just outside Stony Stratford, at the Haversham turn and at the turn at the bottom of the hill at what was later New Bradwell. New Bradwell did not then exist and houses could only be found by the canal at the wharf, the New Inn and the Windmill. There may have been more people at that time living in Stantonbury.

There was a direct track from Wolverton to Bradwell, probably going through the Happy Morn and the Haversham road was in a slightly different place, having been moved to the east when the railway embankment was built. The course of the river was also changed at the same time.

Note also the direct track from Stonebridge House to Calverton. This was one of the ancient cross country roads, a ridgeway. Parts of it survive at Wolverton as Green Lane and the track between the Top Rec and the Cemetery.

Stony Stratford was also somewhat different. The Back Lane, now Russell street, had houses of sorts on it and could reach the High Street through Ram Alley, which was demolished later in the century to become New Street.

The main farms were at Brick Kiln, Wolverton Park (now known as Wolverton House), Manor Farm (marked here as Wolverton House), Stacey Bushes Farm (at the time the farmhouse was beside Bradwell Brook) and Stonebridge House Farm. there were also some smaller farms such as Debbs Barn near Stony Stratford and another farm which was later occupied by McCorquodales ad the western end of the Works.

Much of this map could still be recognised by those of us who grew up in the pre-Milton Keynes era, but I rather thinks that as development continues and roads change their course, very little of it can be positively identified today.

1 comment:

Will Hawkins said...

It's really interesting comparing this to the map on my wall from 1900, the trackways you detailed here are still in use but have even kicked about and straightened up before becoming the paths and roads we know today or just being torn up completely. Stony and wolverton grew exponentially at this time and the transformation was arguably as big on the wolverton District as the later advent of Milton Keynes itself.