Wolverton to Stony Stratford


We took an afternoon walk from Wolverton to Stony Stratford. In a direct line that would be a rather short walk, but we actually went along the canal and then along the River Great Ouse, which is significantly less direct.


I decided to get off the bus before the originally-intended stop in Wolverton because I saw an interesting wall. (This is probably not a habit that encourages anyone to travel with me.)

The interesting wall.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200

But that wasn't all - as we walked along the road (following the bus), there were several other interesting bits of wall and gates. Most of these are associated with the old railway works at Wolverton, which has only partly been turned into flats and shops.

Interesting rectangular gate.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′46″N 0°48′46″W
Interesting arched gate.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′46″N 0°48′44″W
Interestingly bulging wall.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′46″N 0°48′41″W

From a car park along the edge of a recently-built supermarket, I caught sight of some surviving parts of the railway works. I walked down to take a few pictures and was rather shocked to see that there were actually a few people on the site working: it’s not entirely derelict.

Google Maps says it’s now Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Limited. I liked ‘Wolverton Works’ better as a name, but at least it’s still partly operating.

The workers were in the shed on the left of this shot.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′49″N 0°48′37″W


Before too long we reached the canal. We crossed over a new footbridge to join the towpath by some rather large blocks of flats, and set off.

Robert Stephenson-designed bridge (in foreground) made of many iron girders.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′55″N 0°48′25″W
Another railway bridge; the works once spanned the canal.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′55″N 0°48′27″W
Part of the works. Chimney at interesting angle.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′54″N 0°48′32″W
More of the works, featuring window-trees.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′52″N 0°48′42″W

Soon after the end of the railway works, we reached another notable piece of industrial heritage; the Iron Trunk Aqueduct which carries the canal over the River Ouse. It’s an impressive structure and its story is fairly amusing (a previous aqueduct fell down). I've photographed it before (although I don’t appear to have put those pictures online), but here are a couple of shots from the towpath on top of the aqueduct.

View up the river.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°4′7″N 0°50′0″W
View upriver with sky reflection.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°4′7″N 0°50′0″W


We then followed the river in a roundabout manner westward to Stony Stratford.

Split tree.
1/400 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′53″N 0°50′14″W
Millpond, which was almost as flat as a millpond.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′50″N 0°50′57″W
A5 bridge. (This part is presumably raised to let floodwater through.)
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′51″N 0°51′9″W
Pink chicken things.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′50″N 0°51′11″W
Tree and metal posts.
1/640 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′32″N 0°51′39″W

Stony Stratford

We then arrived at Stony Stratford, which is one of the pretty historical areas in Milton Keynes. Its main claim to fame is the Cock Hotel and Bull Hotel on the high street, which are supposed to be the origin of the phrase ‘cock and bull story’. (This etymology is almost certainly itself a cock and bull story.)

We walked up and down the entire length of the high street looking for an independent café. There are several, but it was past four o‘clock and they were all closed, so we had to go to Costa. Anyone wondering why chain stores are taking over? Maybe it’s because they’re actually open.

Picturesque back alley.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′22″N 0°51′5″W
British School.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′21″N 0°51′2″W
Nice paint job.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′23″N 0°51′7″W

Another Stony highlight is the church tower of St. Mary Magdalene. There isn’t an actual church - only the tower remains.

And very nice it looks, too.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°3′30″N 0°51′19″W

After that we eventually managed to get a bus back after a rather long wait in which one didn’t turn up!

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.