New Town Research Page

Welcome to our New Town Research Page which we have created to give you some ideas of the types of new town buildings places and spaces across Milton Keynes.  There are also links to loads of information you can use to research your local area!

What is a New Town area in MK?

A New Town area is a neighbourhood or grid square of Milton Keynes that was largely built and completed within the first 25 years of Milton Keynes from 1967 – 1992.

This link opens an early Map of Milton Keynes in 1975 from the MK City Discovery Centre Archive, so you can see if your local area was built, or not at the time and how Milton Keynes grew out of the existing countryside! – Which is the closest area to you? – MK 1975 Map (PDF)

However, there were also many buildings built by the organisation in charge of building Milton Keynes – the MK Development Corporation (MKDC) in the existing towns like Bletchley, Stony Stratford and Wolverton, especially for retail and leisure, plus in the villages too. Try our #NewTownQuiz to see 10 examples of New Town architecture and if you score 20/20 maybe win a prize!

What is special about Milton Keynes?

Milton Keynes is the largest and arguably most successful new town in Europe!  Unlike other new towns which were mostly created as part of or attached to an existing town, Milton Keynes was conceived as a designed city to be the home of 250,000 people.  MKDC conceived of a Masterplan based on a Grid system of roads, cycle and pedestrian paths known as Redways and a ‘green and blue’ system of linear parks, wildlife corridors, rivers, balancing lakes that together could support this large population.  Then they thought of every building needed for a city to ensure people had somewhere to live, work, shop, have leisure time and have a good life!

So Milton Keynes Council has been working on a new Local List to capture those new town buildings places and spaces that were designed and built by MKDC and has called it the NewTown Heritage Register.  Following a call for public nominations in 2017, it has spent time documenting and researching those places ready for a panel of experts to assess the first set of nominations to go onto the Register.

More information for MKExplorers on the New Town Heritage Register can be found here: NTHR Info Page (PDF)

And a Showcase of Nominations can be found here: NTHR Showcase (PDF)

Archives to Research

Our Partners MK City Discovery Centre (MKCDC) have their own MK Archive of images including many from the New Town.  You can find out more here: MKCDC Archive

MKCDC have produced a Showcase of their New Town images here for MK Explorers to view – do you recognise any of the places shown?  MKCDC Showcase (PDF)

The Living Archive Milton Keynes (LAMK) have also a rich archive of Milton Keynes including the new town.  Their archive has many photographs of people capturing the early days of the ‘pioneers’ who came to Milton Keynes.  You can find out more and view photographs here: LAMK Archive