Street Names in MK
Wavendon Gate – the part of Milton Keynes closest to Wavendon village – was largely once part of Wavendon (Church End). The development corporation have allocated different ‘Settlement Themes’ to the different parts of MK and we are lucky that the Theme for Wavendon Gate is that of ‘Local History/ Lace/ Greek Gods’.
Denison Court is built on the site of a single house called ‘The Close’ which was built in the 1920s and demolished for re-development in the early 1990s.
The close is named after the Denison family who were Lords of one of the three Manors in Wavendon (Mordaunt Manor) from the mid 17th century (Rev. William Denison, Principal of Magdalen College, Oxford) until about 1873 (Henry G. Denison). William Henry Denison was an important local landowner and farmer.
Gaddesden Crescent is named after the Gadesden family – Thomas Gadsden was Lord of the Manor from 1873-1884.
Passalewe Lane is named after the Passalewe family – a powerful and ancient line that dates back to the Norman invasion and had great influence in our area.
PASSELEWES or PASLOWS MANOR is another of the Wavendon Manors that have existed since the 13th century. From 1166 to about 1417 the Passelwe family (William, Gilbert, Simon, Nicholoas, Peter etc) had held various amounts of land in Wavendon but in 1560 the Manner of Passelwes passed to William Fitz Hugh an then to the Saunders family (about 1609).
The Saunders family – starting with Robert (1609) – then held the Manor until about 1625 and then it descended to the Denisons and Althams and combined with the Mardaunts Manor as one holding.
Gregories Drive and Dixie Lane
In 1788 Mr Dixie Gregory and his sister Ellen Wells claimed manorial rights in Wavendon. The Gregorys were a well know family in the parish and held large areas of land in Wavendon.
Another manor , the Veres Manor, was given by the Vere family about 1220, to the Abbey of Woburn. In 1559 Queen Elizabeth granted it Richard Campion and John Thompson, who parcelled it out and sold as separate plots. One of these plots was bought by the Selby family 1700s and then the Shuttleworth family. The Shuttleworths conveyed it to the Hoare family, who held it to recent times.
Wavendon Tower was built in 1893 by Henry Burney. Henry was married to an Italian Countess called Ortensia. The drive is named after Ortensia Burney.
Lace making was a major cottage industry in Wavendon in the 18th and 19th century. Most of the women and girls of the village would make delicate lace to contribute to the family income. The skill was taught in ‘Lace Schools’ – cottage schools for girls. It is thought that it was brought to this area by Hugenot lacemakers. At the time the best lace in the world was made on Burano – a venetian island with a long tradition of lace making – and Burano Grove seems to be named in honor of this tradition.
Note: I think MKDC needed to read a bit of Robert Graves none of these are greek gods!
Fortuna was the goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion. She might bring good or bad luck: she could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life’s capriciousness. She was also a goddess of fate.
Fortuna Court is near to the area identified as a roman cemetry by the MKDC and it must have been thought appropriate to use the name.
Mithraism was a mystery religion centred around the god Mithras that was practised in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to the 4th century. The mysteries were popular in the Roman military and has been considered an early rival of Christianity as it has many similar aspects (though, obviously, not the Bull Killing ritual).
Mithras Gardens is near to the area identified as a roman cemetry by the MKDC and it must have been thought appropriate to use the name.
Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy. From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, and magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the “owl of Minerva”, which symbolised her association with wisdom and knowledge.
Oddly, owls can often be heard in the grounds of Wavendon Tower from Minerva gardens.
In Celtic mythology Taranis was the god of thunder worshipped mainly in Gaul, Gallaecia, the British Isles, the Rhineland and Danube regions. Taranis, along with Esus and Toutatis as part of a sacred triad to whom human sacrifices were made. I understand the practice has died out in Wavendon Gate. Taranis was also associated with the wheel.
Many representations of a bearded god with a thunderbolt in one hand and a wheel in the other have been recovered from Gaul, where Taranis was often equated with Jupiter.
Look out for more Wavvie QRs around the village!