The Lost Footpath
The canal bridge. This is the view just before you cross into Woughton on the Green; if you’ve come along either footpath you’d be nearly at your destination.
This is an accommodation bridge, built so that fields and minor routes were not cut off by the canal. When built it was at the edge of a village, but now it’s in the middle of Milton Keynes.
This is bridge 89 over the Grand Union canal, and it’s near the pair of roundabouts where Marlborough Street (V8) and Standing Way (H8) meet.
Now it just provides access between the Peartree Bridge and Woughton on the Green housing estates, but before Milton Keynes there were two trackways or paths that met at the bridge.
These routes, marked as footpaths on 1950s maps, were both lost with the building of the new town. But parts still exist and can be found today.
Mostly these footpaths followed field boundaries, so it’s likely they date from just after the enclosure act was signed for Woughton on the Green in 1768. Hedges still in existence make them a little easier to follow today.
The route in about 1900, but showing the photo locations and some modern roads. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered about a strange feature of your local area, or just wondered what was there before all the houses were built, the National Library of Scotland’s online maps like this one may well be able to tell you.
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