Great Linford Manor Park
The centrepiece of the park is Linford Manor (privately owned – please respect the residents’ privacy). The Manor was built by Sir William Pritchard, who later became the Lord Mayor of London in 1690. The estate passed to his relatives, the Uthwatts, who extended the house during the 1700s to its present size, employing a number of tricks to make the house look more impressive. For instance, the wing nearest to the village was originally a single storey ballroom, but false windows were put in to create the impression of an 'upstairs' and preserve the building's symmetry. The two pavilions which face the Manor across the park were built in the 1720s and designed to look like houses but were actually stables.
Close to the Manor lie the Water Gardens which include a series of ponds fed from a natural spring, which emerges from an outcrop of limestone that underlies much of the park. The spring is shown on a map of the area dating from 1641, where it is referred to as the ‘Hine Well’. The source of water here may explain why a village became established in this location at least as long ago as the Saxon Period. The ponds in their current form are believed to be part of the 18th Century landscape design of the park. However, the Grand Junction Canal (now known as the Grand Union Canal) was built at the turn of the Nineteenth Century through the middle of the Park, cutting across the ponds on an embankment. The two ponds nearest the Manor provide a lovely setting for a picnic. A third pond lies on the opposite side of the Canal. It is believed this was created in its current form mid-way through the Nineteenth Century.
Almshouses and Schoolhouse
During his time as owner of the estate, Sir William Pritchard provided a school house, at that time stated as for the education of local boys, and three almshouses each side for six unmarried poor people of the parish. These ancient buildings, which overlook the Water Gardens, along with the nearby renovated thatched barn, and the pavilions, are occupied by the independently-run Milton Keynes Arts Centre.
St. Andrews Church
The park surrounds the ancient village church of St Andrews. The oldest parts of the church date from the 13th Century. Inside the church memorials to Sir William Pritchard and his successors associated with the history of the Park and the Manor can be seen.
A little further past the Church from the Manor stands a stone circle of locally quarried limestone. These stones were placed here in the 1980s to mark the site of the old quarry that provided local building materials in the past. The quarry face lies behind the stone circle and is designated as a ‘Local Geological Site’ (a site of regional geological interest), where fossils can be found, dating from the time when the limestone rock formed beneath a shallow tropical sea. The quarry face also provides an important habitat for wildlife including amphibians like frogs and toads which hibernate in the cracks between the rock strata during the winter months.
For details of events in the park see What’s On
Free car parking at the following locations:
Marsh Drive: Marsh Dr, Great Linford, Milton Keynes MK14 5AX
Parklands: Parklands, Great Linford, Milton Keynes MK14 5DZ
Travelling by bus
For those wishing to travel to the park by bus, the No. 21 and 25 buses stop at Memorial Hall bus stop on Marsh drive, and the No. 23 stops at Butlers Grove bus stop on St Ledger Drive – a short walk from the park.
There are toilets available to the public at Milton Keynes Arts Centre during opening times, Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm.
A network of surfaced paths give access to most of the park's main features and up to the canal, though some paths are quite steep.
Future Proposals for Linford Manor Park
Great Linford Manor Park Conservation Plan 2018
Find out more about our project to Reveal, Revive and Restore Great Linford Manor Park & information on how you can reach the park
The park and car parks are open at all times and free of charge.
Great Linford Manor Park can be found in the village of Great Linford, with access from Marsh Drive, the High Street, or Parklands via St Leger Drive.