The Parish of Milton Keynes over the centuries
First recorded as Mideltone in the Domesday survey, the name of the parish has seen changes over the years becoming Middleton and later Milton and also incorporating the name of Keynes (de Keynes was the family name of one of many Lords of the Manor) The Parish remained under single ownership until the mid 20th century at which time the Milton Keynes Development Corporation was formed to oversee the planning and building of the New Town of Milton Keynes.The village itself, which is more or less at the centre of the parish has become known as Milton Keynes Village.
The Parish boundaries remained more or less unchanged until the year 2000, when the civil parishes were realigned to take account of the large increase in population associated with the development of the eastern flank of Milton Keynes. The original parish included the areas now occupied by the gridsquares of Pineham, Fox Milne, Northfield, Oakgrove, Middleton, Monkston Park, Monkston, Kents Hill, Kingston and Brinklow.
The single ownership of the area meant that control was vested in a single person or family, and this type of village is often known as a Closed Village.
The Parish boundaries were the river Ouzel to the West, Broughton Brook to the North and East which was also marked by the Woburn to Newport Pagnell road.
The Southern boundary was not so clearly marked, being part of the Medieval field system. It is believed that in the 15th and 16th centuries the parish was divided into three, very large fields, North Field, Town Field and Kingsbridge Field.
In 1685 an Estate Map was produced which showed that the area had been organised into about 70 smaller fields and 35 smaller lettings in the village centre, many of which were simple living accommodation.
A further Estate Map was produced in 1782 together with a comprehensive record of tenants, use of the land and acreage. This later map showed that although the parish was still in single ownership further subdivision had taken place and about 180 individual lettings were listed.
Another survey was completed in 1838 which showed little change in the number of lettings although some field names had changed often assuming the name of the 1782 tenant, eg. a Close let to John Holloway in 1789 becomes Holloways Close in 1838 and was let to Mr George Farmer. In the 1838 survey the number of tenants had decreased with the individual lettings having been grouped into larger lots.
The field names recorded in the surveys mentioned above have proved a useful source of ideas for today's planners, with names such as Little Hame, Wrens Park, Great Linch, Kingsoe Leys and Noon Layer being used. There are many others which look like possibilities for future use although Hogs Hole or Bones Corner are unlikely to appear on future maps!
During the 1990s and into the 21st century much of the Parish has been used for building mainly domestic properties. Interactive maps are available which enable modern housing areas to be related to the fields as they were in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Click on the Next button for the index of surveys and maps.