Milton Keynes Village, Buckinghamshire

All Saints' Church, Milton Keynes Village, Buckinghamshire

When you visit All Saints’ Church in Milton Keynes village (or Middleton as it is sometimes called) it is hard to think that you are in Milton Keynes at all. This tiny oasis of rurality feels a million miles from the roundabouts, steel and glass of the new town.

This is, in fact, the village which the town took its name from. “Old” Milton Keynes if you like.

The church here may date as far back as the Saxon period, but the present structure dates to no earlier than around 1200. The chancel arch is about all that survives from the 13th Century church, the remainder was rebuilt around 1330 almost entirely funded by the Lord of the Manor, Philip de Aylesbury who must have been a man of some means judging by the size of the church he built.

The rector during the Civil War and Commonwealth periods was Louis Atterbury who came to an unfortunate end in Broughton Brook where he drowned under slightly suspicious circumstances having come from a meeting with his lawyers over a land dispute with the Lord of the Manor. His son, Francis, would become Bishop of Rochester but ended up having to flee the country because of his Royality and pro-Catholic views.

Dr. William Wootton, a later rector, built the huge Queen Anne style rectory which still stands nearby. This became such an expense for subsequent rectors to maintain that it was sold in the 1960s after attempts to conjoin the rectories of Milton Keynes and Broughton.

So today we have one of Buckinghamshire’s largest and most attractive medieval churches standing in a forgotten corner hidden amongst modern Milton Keynes. A real oddity in an incongruous setting.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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