JAMES WIlLIS discusses his new book “Mysterious Milton Keynes”, which delves into the strange and wonderful things of the Buckinghamshire area
I knew there was something odd about Milton Keynes from the moment I arrived. At first sight, one is reminded of the computer game ‘Sim City’there are so many straight lines, roundabouts and manicured spaces. But the genteel façade hides a dark web of conspiracy, occult, supernatural and legend.
During the course of three years deep research I met the paranoid, the terrified, the skeptical and the intrigued.
They helped me join the dots, make the connections and punch through the looking glass to expose the mysteries of Milton Keynes.
At the heart of the city, the district now known as Middleton was once home to a 400 year old cursed Elm tree. It was said that if the tree ever died, no more baby boys would be born within the borders of the then village.
In the late 1980’s the tree succumbed to Dutch Elm disease, and was finally killed after being hit by a stolen car. Eerily, the trees demise coincided with the opening of the maternity unit at Milton Keynes General Hospital. There are no records of any home-births in the district since the tree died.
Newport Pagnell, (an historic constituent town swallowed up within the ever expanding borders of Milton Keynes) is home to so many haunted restaurants, pubs, bridges and plague fields, that it is widely regarded as one of the most spooky places in Britain.
The Devil – it is said – once lived on the ancient Olney High Street, and was a regular drinker at ‘The Two Brewers’ Pub. Here, he caused so much mischief he had to be tricked into exile by a wily priest.
Hidden behind an industrial estate, one can find the Blind Pond, a lake that was – in the 19th century – revered as Britain’s very own Bermuda Triangle, regularly swallowing passing coaches.
Milton Keynes plays host to a menagerie of exotic feral species, most famous of which is the legendary ‘Milton Keynes Beast’ – a big cat who’s prints have been verified by experts from Whipsnade Zoo.
The town is also home to true relics of the Buddha, as well as a ‘miraculous’ Holy Glastonbury Thorn tree. The twelfth century All Saints Church in Bow Brickhill was sited by fairies – whose presence can still be felt in the surrounding ancient woodland.
As well as being completely aligned with the rising Midsummer Sun – and sitting upon a Ley Line – Milton Keynes is dominated by pyramid structures, monoliths, obelisks, standing stones and stone circles, the latter proving a magnet to local pagans and witches.
Together with its plethora of sinister street art (masked figures, owls etc…), conspiracy theorists the world over have concluded that MK is a so–called ‘super hub’ of the shadowy Illuminati.
Whilst I’m confident that I have exposed the towns mysteries, I don’t think anyone will ever be able to explain them. But I think that’s OK, because we all need mystery and folklore to bring enchantment and magic into an otherwise predictable world.