Water Mistake
A Beacon for the Queen

Lending Back

Rear of Central Milton Keynes library

The Monday Photo

Many of you will know this building well, but not from this angle.

From today’s photo you might think it’s some sort of research establishment and you’d almost be right. You might also think it’s set in park land, but you’d almost be wrong.

This is the rear of the Central Milton Keynes library, just across Silbury Boulevard from the shopping centre.

Buildings and car parks surround the library, though there’s a small piece of park land too, at the back. The library has many sources; maps, books, leaflets with information that is just not available online, and that’s where research comes in.

I go there when my own books or the internet can’t tell me what I need to know for a post on the NBW.

The library was finished in 1981, but the building has never been completed. The plan had been to greatly enlarge it, to provide a museum and Civic offices. This plain and functional looking rear wall would have been in the middle of the finished complex.

Nothing came of the museum, but MK council’s Civic offices were built on the next block along instead of here.

There’s a single story plant room, visible in the photo; you can see a double door facing the camera. If the extension plans had gone ahead this plant room would have been inside the completed complex; instead it remains separate.

The library has been a Grade 2 listed building since 2015, but the plant room is not included in the listing.

The building is a bit odd inside, though you may not have realised. There are huge spaces or voids in the library, there to vary ceiling heights.

At one time they were not at all accessible, and when all the libraries in the district had new fire alarm systems installed, this library had to wait until access ways were installed.

Next time you are in Central Milton Keynes, why don’t you take a look at this building? Have a look round the back, too. See if you can imagine what it would have looked like complete.

I used a Sony A6000 and zoom lens for this photo.

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If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.


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Hi Roger.

In your Monday photo (Lending back), you mention nothing came of the plans to greatly enlarge the MK library to provide a museum...

I visited a museum when I was back visiting MK in 2002 – is this another museum, or did one start up and then later fold, (or was defunded)?

You must have visited the Milton Keynes Museum in 2002, near Wolverton. It opened as the Stacey Hill Collection of Industry and Rural Life in 1972, so predates the building of the library by nine years.

Perhaps it was a nice idea that just didn't happen.

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