Great Linford Manor Park
About Great Linford Manor Park
Great Linford Manor Park is a unique site in Milton Keynes with a history stretching back to at least the Saxon times. Many features of the park, for example the Water Gardens and nearby Wilderness Garden date from the 17th and 18th centuries when the park was laid out to provide the setting to the impressive Manor House, which is now privately owned (please respect the resident's privacy).
However, many of the park's special historic features were showing signs of age and awareness of the historic design is much decreased. We want to conserve and restore Great Linford Manor Park to make it an even more attractive and interesting place to visit. Thanks to National Lottery Players, we were awarded £3.1m in funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to 'Reveal, Revive & Restore' the important heritage at the park.
Now a public open space, in the 17th and 18th centuries Great Linford Manor Park was once the private garden of the Manor house. But the story of the landscape as a settlement began long before that. Through the 'Reveal, Revive, Restore' project, we have been uncovering and intepreting the history of the park. We now know that Great Linford was first settled by the Saxons in the 7th century, as evidenced by archaeological finds beneath St. Andrew's Church. It developed in the Medieval period as a rural village adjacent to the original Manor house. During this time, the word 'Manor' referred to an estate rather than the house itself. In 1678 a wealthy merchant, Sir William Pritchard and his wife Lady Sarah purchased the old house and demolished it to make a new Manor, situated in its present location. In the following centuries, the Manor was added to and altered to become the impressive Georgian house it is today. During the 18th century the gardens were designed in the English Landscape Pleasure Garden style, perhaps by garden designer Richard Woods. They were bisected in 1800 by the Grand Union Canal and the estate went into decline. In the 20th century the estate was purchased by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, who created the original public park. From 2015, we have been regenerating the parkland with help from a National Lottery Heritage Fund and Community Fund grant.
Every 2nd Wednesday and last Sunday of the month, the Friends of Great Linford Manor Park lead free guided history walks of the park. Click the button to find out more.
For a more in-depth history of the Manor Park, visit the Great Linford history website. Here you can find out about the people who have made the park and village their home over the centuries and uncover some intriguing stories from the past.
Free parking is available at Marsh Dr, Great Linford, Milton Keynes, MK14 5AS.
Toilets, including an accessible toilet, can be found in Milton Keynes Arts Centre, open Monday-Wednesday and Saturday 10am-4pm.
Milton Keynes Arts Centre which is situated within the park have a small café which is open Monday-Wednesday and Saturday from 10am-4pm.
On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, St. Andrew's Church host a dementia-friendly community café.
There is an infant play area designed for young children and toddlers next to the Marsh Drive car park. Playable sculptures can be found throughout the park.
*Please note, Milton Keynes Arts Centre's café and toilets are occasionally closed to the public for private events and it is advisable to check ahead by calling 01908 608108 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A network of surfaced paths gives access to most of the park's main features and up to the canal, though some paths are quite steep. A set of deep steps leads down to the Cascade Pond, but alternative routes to this area are provided via Campion (What3Words location) and from the canal towpath (What3Words location).
Through the Heritage Fund project we have been working with the Open University on The Walking Programme, which is researching the barriers and facilitators to walking for people living with dementia. To support people living with dementia in the community, we are collaboration with St. Andrew's Church and the Friends of Great Linford Manor Park at the 5 Ways Cafe, which is a dementia friendly community cafe held twice monthly at the church. All are welcome to attend. Click here to find out more about the cafe.
Find out more about Great Linford Manor Park:
Play Sculpture TrailThe sculptures are designed for children to climb on and play. The pieces interpret some elements of the park's fascinating heritage.
Infant Play AreaThis play area features a climbable log stack, a multi-play station, springers, accessible roundabout and a mud kitchen.
National Lottery Heritage Fund ProjectFind out more National Lottery Heritage Fund to 'Reveal, Restore and Revive' the park’s important heritage and to make it an even more attractive and interesting place to visit.