Newport Pagnell shown within Buckinghamshire
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Newport Pagnell|
|Unitary authority||Milton Keynes|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||NEWPORT PAGNELL|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Milton Keynes North|
Newport Pagnell is a town in the Borough of Milton Keynes, in the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire, England. It is separated by the M1 motorway from Milton Keynes itself, though part of the same urban area. Newport Pagnell services on the M1 are named after the town.
The town was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Neuport, which is Old English meaning New Market Town, but by that time the old Anglo-Saxon town was dominated by the Norman invaders. The suffix "Pagnell" came later when the manor passed into the hands of the Pagnell (Paynel) family. It was the principal town of the "Three Hundreds of Newport", a district that had almost the same boundary as the modern Borough.
At one time, Newport Pagnell was one of the largest towns in the County of Buckinghamshire (the assizes of the County were occasionally held there) though today, despite its own substantial expansion, it has been completely dwarfed by the growth of Milton Keynes. There were also at one time two hospitals in Newport Pagnell and six fairs were held for the townsfolk throughout the year.
Newport Pagnell became the headquarters of Newport Pagnell Rural District under the Local Government Act 1894. In 1897 Newport Pagnell became the sole civil parish comprising the newly created Newport Pagnell Urban District.
Tickford Bridge, over the River Ouzel (or Lovat), was built in 1810 and is the only iron bridge in Britain that still carries main road traffic and is the oldest iron bridge in the world that is still in constant use. There is a plaque near the footbridge at the side that gives details of its history and construction placed there by Newport Pagnell Historical Society.
From 1954, until recently, Tickford Street in the town was the home to the prestigious sports car manufacturer Aston Martin. The Newport Pagnell factory was considered outdated and a new production facility was built near Gaydon, in Warwickshire. There is still a service facility in Newport Pagnell, but the factory on the north side of Tickford St has since been demolished apart from the engine shop, board room and offices that are listed buildings. The land behind these has been purchased by Tesco and the supermarket giant had planned to build an outlet on the site, preserving the original remaining buildings for use by the townspeople. In 2012 the service facility was completely modernised and now also houses a bespoke sales department.
There was a lot of debate over the use of the site for a supermarket and the "Tesno" anti-tesco group gained a lot of support from the town. In Jan 2015, Tesco told Milton Keynes Council that plans to open a superstore on the Tickford Street site would not proceed due to "the company’s overall financial performance".
The town is also home to the only remaining vellum manufacturer in the United Kingdom, William Cowley, located at Parchment Works, 97 Caldecote Street.
Population and growth
Although Newport Pagnell is outside the designated area of Milton Keynes, its growth has been at a similar level to that of the constituent towns of the latter; the two now join at the M1 and there is little distinction between them. The Office for National Statistics regards Newport Pagnell as part of the Milton Keynes Urban Area. Its population in 1971 was 6,000: by 2001 it had reached 15,020. The Borough Council projects that the population will remain broadly stable at this level. However, in its comments on the expansion plans for Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire County Council challenges this assumption, calling for any further expansion to be to the east of the M1 rather than south across the border into Aylesbury Vale.
The people of Newport Pagnell are known as Pagnellions.
Sport and leisure
- Nigel Benson, the author, was born in Newport Pagnell
- Steve Brooker, footballer, was born in Newport Pagnell
- Oliver Cromwell (son of his more famous father) is rumoured to have died in Newport Pagnell in the spring of 1644
- Letitia Dean went to Cedars School in the town
- Kelly George, actor and star of BBC children's television series Grange Hill, lived and was educated in the town
- Richard Hopkins, the television producer, was born in Newport Pagnell
- Richard Meredith, author, lives in Newport Pagnell
- Gordon Moakes, bassist of Indie band Bloc Party, was educated in Newport Pagnell, as were the members of the ska punk band Capdown
- James Nash, World Touring Car Championship driver, lives in Newport Pagnell
- David Oldfield who played for Leicester City, Stoke City & Oxford United, lived in Newport Pagnell
- Samuel Pepys stayed at The Swan Revived Hotel
- Charles Sanford Terry, the historian, musicologist and authority on J. S. Bach, was born in Newport Pagnell in 1864
- George Walters, born 15 September 1829 in Newport Pagnell, won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Inkermann (where he was a Sergeant with the 49th Regiment of Foot) on 5 November 1854, by saving the life of Brigadier-General Adams
- Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 Census, Accessed 4 February 2013
- Parishes in Milton Keynes – Milton Keynes Council.
- Hadfield, Charles (1970). The Canals of the East Midlands (including part of London) (Second ed.). David & Charles (Publishers) Limited. pp. 272–273. ISBN 071534871X.
- KS01 Usual resident population: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas
- Census for Newport Pagnell UD
- Borough of Milton Keynes population bulletin 2005/6, page 21
- Newport Pagnell Historical Society[dead link]
- The unofficial Newport Pagnell Town website with historical pictures, pictures of the town carnival and a message board for locals and ex pats to keep in touch.
- Newport Pagnell Town Council