Things to do in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire
This historic Buckinghamshire town was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Wluerintone and in Old English probably referred to Wulfhere's Estate.
Traces of the Old Wolverton mediaeval village can be seen in the ridge and furrow fields laid out in the area. The earthen mound is all that remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle.
The Church of the Holy Trinity dates back to Saxon times although it was mostly rebuilt in 1819. Next to the church is the vicarage, built in 1729 with stonework from the demolished 16th century manor house - an early form of recycling! The coat of the arms of the de Longueville family from the manor can be seen above the front doorway.
In the mid 16th century the Longueville family gradually enclosed the land of the parish, turning the arable land to pasture. It led to the abandonment of Old Wolverton as peasant families lost their land and were forced to find work elsewhere.
The Grand Union Canal was built on part of Old Wolverton, creating Old Wolverton to the east of the canal and Wolverton Mill to the west. In order for the canal to cross the Great River Ouse it had to descend via nine locks and then ascend by eight locks, making it a very slow and time-consuming trip.
In 1836 Wolverton was the site for the locomotive repair shop for the London and Birmingham Railway. Locomotives were built there until 1863 and repairs continued until 1877. The works are still the home of the Royal Train fleet.
During World War II rifles, airplane parts, gliders and ambulances were built on the site which still has some of its camouflage paint on the walls.
Present Day Wolverton
Wolverton today has been merged into Milton Keynes and has a sizeable immigrant community. The town's shops reflect local culture with continental produce widely available in the corner shops to suit the Polish and Asian communities.
The church of St George sits opposite a mosque which has taken over the former Post Office sorting office and Empire cinema building.
This former railway community has local projects such as a community orchard on former allotments, the annual scarecrow festival and the lantern parade at Christmas.
In 1999 the residents persuaded National Rail to sell a piece of derelict land to the community for use as a small park - something the industrial area sadly lacked. It was bought for £1 and is maintained by local volunteers.
There are two working mens' clubs, a local brass band and a community arts centre. There is also a cricket club, tennis club and a bowls club as well as an open-air swimming pool.
Things to Do Around Wolverton
Things to do around Wolverton include a trip to Willen Lake, a 180 acre park with a High Ropes Adventure Course for family fun.
Bletchley Park is now a museum with tours explaining the code-breaking work done there during World War II.
The Xscape Centre nearby includes sports on three ski slopes, an indoor skydiving experience, shops and restaurants.