John Dunn

John Dunn original writing
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Thought Pieces
Oxford to Cambridge

The Oxford to Cambridge Arc 3

Stanton Low Church on Dr John Dunn. The ruined church of St Peter in the lost village of Stanton (now known as Stanton Low)

The Oxford to Cambridge Arc

Buckingham to Newport Pagnell

After Buckingham, all routes headed to Stanton Bridge, now no more than a hidden culvert carrying a small tributary of the River Great Ouse under an unclassified road at New Bradwell. It is highly likely that the maker of the Gough Map passed this same way too.

Ogilby’s 1675 route

Looking at the stretch from Buckingham to Newport Pagnell one is struck by the way that Ogilby followed the route of the current main road (A422) east of Leckhamstead, then west of Thornton, but then how suddenly he veered off to pass east of Passingham. Somehow Ogilby’s road crossed the River Great Ouse somewhere north of Beachampton and near to a water mill, as described on his map. Study of the current Ordnance Survey Map reveals this crossing point to be where a modern girder farm bridge carries a bridleway over a narrowing of the Ouse at the aptly named Mill Farm.

Ogilby's Buckingham to Newport Pagnell route. I have shown John Senex's 1780 reiteration of Ogilby's original map as it reproduces more clearly.

Ogilby’s road deviates from the modern road by passing close to today’s Mount Mill Farm, crossing what were then unhedged open common fields, to the bridge at today’s Mill Farm.

John Cary’s 1787 map of the area was completed before the canals changed the landscape and indeed highlights Ogilby’s route which runs south of Stoney Stratford and Wolverton. A comparison of Cary’s map with the current OS Map shows that after Mill Farm Ogilby described a route that aligns with what is now the Ouse Valley Way footpath into Calverton village. So it would appear that a combination of field enclosure and the coming of the canals caused the change in road priorities since Cary's map was completed.