Introducing The Milton Keynes Collection
The Milton Keynes Collection is a partnership of five museums and heritage organisations who have joined forces to:
- Raise awareness of the rich history of Milton Keynes within and beyond the ‘new’ city;
- Win public and commercial support for its conservation, interpretation and development;
- Share resources and expertise in areas such as volunteering, collections handling, governance and marketing; and
- Inspire more people to get involved and help to secure this unique heritage for future generations.
Meet the partners
Home of the codebreakers, Bletchley Park played a key role in shortening the Second World War. The museum tells the codebreakers’ remarkable story – with hands-on demonstrations of how it was done – and reveals why it has come to be seen as the birthplace of computing.
Don’t miss: The Enigma Collection, The Churchill Collection, The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park Post Office, Toys and Memorabilia Collection, American Garden Trail
Great for: For clubs, societies and school groups the museum offers a full and fascinating day out. Guided tours lasting two hours are a must to get the most from the day. Children will love the hands-on demonstrations, toy museum, pigeons at war and children’s corner. Bletchley Park is also the perfect choice to take visiting guests and to include in business and conference programmes.
Want to know more? read the Citizen article on Bletchley Park
Ready to visit? visiting Bletchley Park
City Discovery Centre
Perfect for time-travellers, City Discovery Centre traces the area’s history from prehistoric times and Roman settlement, through the founding of a monastic community at Bradwell Abbey, right up to the present time and the planning and creation of the UK’s first modern new city – Milton Keynes.
Don’t miss: tours of the site on the first Sunday of each month, Roman and Medieval recreations and fun days, St Mary’s Chapel with unique wall paintings, art trail featuring works by Schottlander and Bill Billings, medieval grounds and fishpond, nature walks, new city archive featuring maps, models, documents and more.
Great for: CDC’s events programme offers great family days out but it is also a great spot for walking, cycling and picnicking at any time. For schools and community groups CDC can organise Roman and Medieval re-enactments, as well as a memorable venue for meetings and events. The Centre is a must for town planners, architects and students of urban studies who want to learn from the Milton Keynes experience.
Want to know more? read the Citizen’s article on visiting City Discovery Centre
Ready to visit? visiting City Discovery Centre
Cowper and Newton Museum
Step back into Georgian life at the home of one of Britain’s most acclaimed poets and letter-writers, William Cowper. The museum and lovingly-recreated gardens also celebrate Cowper’s neighbour and friend John Newton, who played a critical role in the abolition of the slave trade and wrote the famous anthem Amazing Grace.
Don’t miss: slave trade exhibition, the Amazing Grace story, Georgian gardens and Cowper’s writing hideaway, Georgian parlour, reception room and bedchamber, history of lacemaking, exhibitions of local arts and crafts in the Three Hares Gallery
Great for: A fascinating morning or afternoon excursion, or a full day out combined with a visit to Olney’s wonderful town centre, country park and eateries. The museum is on the literary houses trail and very popular with international visitors interested in the abolition connection and birthplace of The Olney Hymns. Special events throughout the year are perfect for including children in the visit.
Want to know more? read the Citizen’s article on visiting the Museum
Ready to visit? visiting the Cowper and Newton Museum
Living Archive was one of the first people’s history projects to be set up in the UK. Over the last 30 years it has built up a major collection of film, oral history and photographic records telling the story of life in the Milton Keynes area. It also manages the Discover Milton Keynes Showcase on behalf of Milton Keynes Heritage Association. It has a changing programme of community-based projects, enabling people to get involved in documenting and bringing to life the history of their area.
Don’t miss: Discover Milton Keynes Showcase at Milton Keynes Library and Westcroft Library featuring a regular programme of exhibitions, Living Archive website – packed with film and documentary records of local life, online shop of resources, Bletchley Community Heritage Initiative based in Bletchley Library and Melrose Avenue Resource Centre.
Great for: Anyone with an interest in local history, family history and the wider history of the Milton Keynes area. Living Archive actively encourages people of all ages to take part in its work, contributing materials and memories, skills and time, and becoming part of its current projects – which have included film-making, drama, song writing, and book collections.
Ready to find out more? Living Archive online
Milton Keynes Museum
DO touch is the philosophy at Milton Keynes Museum where more than 200 years of local industry and rural life are featured in a series of brilliant recreations and hands-on displays. Alongside relics from pre-history days the museum comes back up to date in the new Connected Earth area – telling the story of communications in full, interactive technicolour.
Don’t miss: Street of shops, Victorian schoolroom, Edwardian parlour, WWII garden and air raid shelter, working kitchen, Railway boardroom, original Wolverton tram, Connected Earth museum and one of the best tea rooms in Milton Keynes.
Great for: all ages, all interests – it’s a great chance to get grandparents reminiscing, parents talking, and children enthused. The museum is a full day out – and more – so very suitable for clubs, community groups, schools and a wide range of interest groups looking for an outing offering something for everyone. And its events programme is targeted at family days out, with plenty of demonstrations and chances to get involved.
Want to know more? Read the Citizen’s article on visiting the Museum
Ready to visit? Visiting Milton Keynes Museum