Bradwell Abbey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bradwell Abbey
Bradwell abbey chapel 0494.JPG
Chapel at Bradwell Abbey
Bradwell Abbey is located in Milton Keynes
Bradwell Abbey
Bradwell Abbey
Mapping © OpenStreetMap
Bradwell Abbey is located in Buckinghamshire
Bradwell Abbey
Bradwell Abbey
Bradwell Abbey shown within Buckinghamshire
Population6,544 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSP826395
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtMK13
Dialling code01908
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°02′52″N 0°47′41″W / 52.047752°N 0.794656°W / 52.047752; -0.794656Coordinates: 52°02′52″N 0°47′41″W / 52.047752°N 0.794656°W / 52.047752; -0.794656

Bradwell Abbey or Bradwell Priory is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, urban studies site, district and former civil parish in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. The site was once the location of a Benedictine priory, founded in 1155.

Historic Bradwell Priory[edit]

The Priory was established around 1154.[2] It grew during the Middle Ages to become an important local centre, but declined during the Black Death when, amongst others, its prior William of Loughton died.[2] The Priory was closed in 1524 (some 12 years before the general dissolution of the monasteries) and the site of the monastery and its scanty revenues were granted to Cardinal Wolsey for the endowment of his new college.[3] All that remains today is a small chapel and a farmhouse that has become a centre for cultural activities and an Urban Studies centre. The medieval trackways converging on the abbey can still be seen in the rights of way and bridleways that have become "redways" (leisure routes for cycling and walking).

The arrival of the West Coast Main Line railway split the Abbey lands, with Bradwell village to the east of the line and the Abbey to the west. Today, the small Bradwell Abbey district includes parkland and industry in its own right, and gives its name to the larger civil parish that includes it.

Bradwell Abbey today[edit]

Today, Bradwell Abbey is an Urban Studies Centre (the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre), providing a base, library and guidance for visiting international town planners and students who wish to study Milton Keynes. It also hosts school visits to see its medieval buildings – the chapel is Grade I listed[4] – and how they have changed since then, its fish ponds and its physic garden. Finally it provides meeting space to local community groups.


An annual music festival was started on the site in 1999. Performers have included Vikki Clayton in 1999, Joe Driscoll in 2005. In 2009 the festival dates were 26 and 27 June and acts performing included The Swanvesta Social Club.

Bradwell Abbey district[edit]

The modern Bradwell Abbey district is a relatively small one, sandwiched as it is between the West Coast Main Line to the east, the A5 to the west, Monksway (A422) to the north and Dansteed Way to the south. It includes a small industrial estate and the Loughton Valley flood plain "linear park". The Swan's Way long distance path and the Sustrans route 51 follow the valley.

Formally, it is in the Bradwell grid-square, but this square is split into three parts by the railway line (on an embankment) and the A5 (in a cutting).

Civil Parish[edit]

Bradwell Abbey gives its name to a former civil parish, between the railway line to the east and V4 Watling Street to the west, H3 Monks Way to the north and H4 Dansteed Way to the south. This had a population of 6,544 according to the 2001 census, and included the modern Bradwell Abbey district, Two Mile Ash, Stacey Bushes, Wymbush and Kiln Farm areas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics 2001 Census". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
  2. ^ a b Markham, Sir Frank (1986) [1973]. History of Milton Keynes and District. White Crescent Press. pp. 105–108. ISBN 0-900804-29-7.
  3. ^ 'Houses of Benedictine monks: The priory of Bradwell'Victoria History of the Counties of England, A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 1 (1905), pp. 350–352. Date accessed: 22 September 2009.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Details from image database (45807)". Images of England. Retrieved 6 January 2009.

External links[edit]