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Bletchley, Milton Keynes

From Academic Kids

Bletchley is a town in what is now Milton Keynes new city. It is formally in the Borough of Milton Keynes unitary authority, though until the administrative boundary change in 1995 it was in Buckinghamshire. It is situated in the south-west of the city but still retains a distinctive identity.

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Arms of the former Bletchley Urban District Council
Contents

Origin

The town name is Anglo Saxon and means Blęcca's wood. It was first recorded in manorial rolls in the 12th century as Blechelai.

Development

Bletchley is located on the Roman road Watling Street, and was also a major Victorian railway junction (the London and North Western Railway with the Oxford-Cambridge line), which led to the huge urban growth in the town in that period. At Fenny Stratford, it is also linked to the Midlands via the Grand Union Canal.

Within the parish of Bletchley was historically the hamlet of Water Eaton. In the urban growth of the Victorian period brought by the railway, the town merged with nearby Fenny Stratford. In the early 60s, there was a further substantial expansion of the town, with people from London being relocated by the Greater London Council, mainly to the south of Water Eaton.

Milton Keynes

Main article Milton Keynes

Bletchley was included in the "designated area" when the New City of Milton Keynes was founded in 1967. Bletchley thrived in the early years of the growth of the new city, since it was the main shopping area. Bletchley centre was altered considerably when the Brunel Shopping Centre was built in the early 1970s. (Previously, Queensway — formerly known as Bletchley Road — was a continuous run from Buckingham Road near the railway station right into Fenny Stratford. The boom came to an abrupt end when the new City Centre was built and, in recent years, commercial Bletchley has declined. It seems likely that the new commercial developments on the outskits of the town (along Watling Street) will accelerate that decline.

Bletchley Park

Main article Bletchley Park

Also within the parish is the stately Bletchley Park, which, during the Second World War, was home to the Government Code and Cypher School. The famous Enigma code was cracked here. The house is now a museum.

no:Bletchley, Milton Keynes

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