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Woburn Sands is a small town that is mainly located in the Borough of Milton Keynesmarker, Englandmarker, and to the south-east of Milton Keynesmarker itself, near Wavendonmarker. The county boundary between Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire runs through the town so that the smaller part of the town, including its primary school, is in Bedfordshire.

The earliest evidence of settlement is an Iron Age hill fort dating from around 500BC, called Desborough Camp which is located to the southwest of the present town. Later when the settlement had developed into a hamlet it was part of the parish of Wavendon, becaming a separate civil parish in 1907. Under the Local Government Act 1972 the parish council has adopted the status of a town in its own right. It has separated from Wavendon which is just to the north of the Marston Vale Linemarker.

The village name was originally Hogsty End, one of Wavendon's four 'ends' (along with Church End, Cross End and Lower End) but by Victorian times, this un-picturesque name had fallen out of favour, and Woburn Sands had taken over as the accepted name. There is a local story that a schoolmaster was unable to attract business to his "Hogsty End Academy", and was one of the first to promote the use of the new name, but in fact it had been in use before this. The modern place name is related to nearby Woburnmarker in Bedfordshire, and to the sandy local soil resulting from its proximity to the Greensand Ridgemarker, an escarpment of Greensand.

The town had a reputation as a health spa because of the micro-climate, and people would come from far and wide to "take the airs". Several convalescent homes were built locally.

Modern Woburn Sands contains many amenities, details of which are available on a local website. It is also a reasonably well-known (but under-publicised) mountain biking destination, with car-parks at the top of Church Street.

Woburn Sands railway stationmarker, which serves the town, is located on the Bletchleymarker-Bedfordmarker Marston Vale Linemarker but the service is currently only hourly in both directions, and that only from about 7:00 am until 7:00 pm. A reasonably fast (35 mins. to 1 hour) mainline service is available from Milton Keynes Centralmarker to London Eustonmarker. Alternatively, the First Capital Connect service from Flitwickmarker runs to St. Pancrasmarker.

More modern housing can be found in the north of Woburn Sands (on the Wavendon side of the tracks) where more development is also planned.
Although its population is small for a town (2,246 according to the 2001 census), many inhabitants refer to it as a town, and the civil parish council has officially declared it a town. Its population and consequently its housing stock continue to grow and it may coalesce with Milton Keynes as the latter expands to meet it (though Milton Keynes Partnership denies this in its expansion plans for Milton Keynes). Milton Keynes Council envisage further housing development and a new Science Park on Woodley's Farm South of the railway.


References

  1. Map of Woburn Sands at MK Web
  2. Woburn Sands homepage


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