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Hanslope is a village in the Borough of Milton Keynesmarker and is the centre of a Civil Parish of the same name. It is about 4 miles (6 km) WNW of Newport Pagnellmarker, about 4 miles (6 km) north of Stony Stratfordmarker, about 8 miles (11 km) north of Central Milton Keynesmarker and just south of Northamptonshiremarker. For ceremonial purposes, it is in Buckinghamshire. The West Coast Main Linemarker from London Eustonmarker to Glasgowmarker runs close to the village on the southwest side.

History

Previously called Hanslape from the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 right through to the Victorian era, it refers in Old English to a muddy place or slope belonging to a man called Hama.

There was once a castle in the parish (that later became Castlethorpemarker), that was the seat of the Maudit family. In 1215 William Maudit had started a rebellion against King John of England and was defeated in battle by the king's men. Following King John's death however, Maudit reclaimed his seat and founded a grand park in the parish, remnants of which can still be found in Hanslope today. The castle building has long since disappeared, though the grassy mounds of the motte-and-bailey groundworks can still be clearly seen.

In the medieval period it was a market town, granted in 1293.

In the Victorian period, most of the inhabitants of the village were employed in the manufacture of lace. This was a common trade in Buckinghamshire, and Hanslope lace was renowned for being a particularly fine example.

Parish church: Hanslope Spire

A prominent feature of the village is the parish church, St James the Great. The church spire is exceptionally high (180 feet, almost 55m) and, because the village is already on a ridge, it can be seen from a very wide radius. The claim that "before air pollution, it could be seen from Londonmarker" seems fanciful. The church has an open day in the summer when the tower is open to the public.

One notable incumbent was James Mayne MA who was rector from 1841 to 1851, previously curate of St Matthew's, Bethnal Greenmarker. In series 5 of the Who Do You Think You Are? TV program, Patsy Kensit discovered that he was an ancestor and was shown his burial place during a visit to the church.

Hanslope Park

About half a mile south-east of the village is Hanslope Park. Once the manorial estate of the village, it is now owned by the UKmarker Foreign and Commonwealth Officemarker, and home to HMGCC (Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre). This researches, designs, develops and produces communications systems, equipment and related hardware and software. During the 2nd World War, the Radio Security Service was based here. The great mathematician and cryptologist Alan Turing worked here during the latter part of the war developing ideas that led to his design of the Automatic Computing Engine, one of the world's first detailed computer designs.


Hanslope Junction

The West Coast Main Line runs a short distance to the south-west the village and, at Hanslope Junction, it divides. Two tracks take the direct line to Rugbymarker and the other two form the Northampton Loop Line (the tracks actually diverge a few miles further north, at Roademarker).

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