A History of the Road Names in Milton

The Original Milton Roads

Cambridge Road/High Street/Ely Road – the rather odd naming of the main road through Milton comes about because of a series of diversions to the road at its northern end. High Street was diverted in 1772 to make way for a new park for Milton Hall, which is why it turns left at Pond Green. Its old route was restored in the early
sixties as Ely Road. There is more on this on the Milton history page.

Pond Green – there used to be a pond at Pond Green (where the village sign now stands). You can see it in pictures of Milton right up until the 1930s.

Butt Lane – is shrouded in history. This road over 200 years ago led only to the Roman road (Mere Way or Akeman Street) which runs North from Cambridge along the Western boundary of Milton parish and across the Fens towards Ely. Butt lane literally ‘butted’ on to the Mere Way and only after around 1800 did it continue to Impington; during the time of the Romans, Butt Lane may well have connected the Mere Way with the River Cam via Fen Road for the transport of goods.

Fen Road/Church Lane – the names of these roads should be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that they are the oldest roads in Milton other than the high street and Butt Lane. Fen Road has also been known as Fen End in times past, that’s certainly how it’s recording in the 1841 census.

Ad Hoc Post War Developments

Bene’t Close – was built immediately after the War on land adjacent to Bene’t Farm which was last farmed by the Easy family two decades ago before the Rowans development. Bene’t is presumably short for Benedict, as with Bene’t Street in Cambridge.

Coles Road – is the backbone of the first large estate built in the village and was named after the antiquarian the Rev. William Cole who restored Milton House, Fen Road in 1768 and lived there until he died
in 1782.

Old School Lane – leads off Coles Road, partially developed on land to the rear of the site of the old school in Fen Road.

Pryor Close – was named after the Pryor family who lived at Milton Hall at the turn of the century.

Wilson Way – is named after a farming family connected with Milton for several centuries.

Cherry Close – built on the site of an old cherry orchard.

Goding Way – a corruption of Goodin, the family farm which once stood on this site.

Knights Way – built on the site of the drive to Milton Hall where the Knight family lived after they built the Hall in the late l8th Century.

Lyndhurst Close – built on farm land behind Lyndhurst Farm house on Butt Lane.

Hall End – was developed next to the site of the old school in Fen Road and the name appears to be an earlier name for Fen Road which ran along the southern boundary of the manorial estate of Milton Hall.

Shirley Close – arose on land behind Shirley Lodge (demolished 10 years ago) owned by Mrs. Shirley in the early
19th century.

Pearson Close/Court – take their the name of a well-known local farming family.

Willow Crescent – named after Willow House, a farm which once stood behind the Waggon & Horses. The farmhouse itself survives and is now the Ambassador Lodge guest house. See also Woodman Way and Gunnell
Close below.

Winship Road – at the industrial estate is named after the land owner.

Recreation Close – is simply sited by the recreation ground in Coles Road.

The Rowans/Sycamores

The Rowans, Sycamores, Oaks, Elms and Walnut Close – were all named by the developer after trees, rather un-originally, especially since the area was glasshouses, not woods before it was developed.

Faulkner Close – is named after the head teacher of the old school in Fen Road in the 1930’s.

James Carlton Court – was named in memory of the one time organist at the church.

Humphries Way

Humphries Way – is named after Ken Humphries. Ken was not only involved with the parish and district councils, but he was also a keen local historian producing many reports on the history and archaeology of the village and has two roads named after him – see also Ken’s Way below.

David Bull Way – is named after a recent local farmer and parish councillor who lived at Rectory Farm.

Starling Close – as Derek Booth put it “there was and is a ‘murmuring of Starlings’ in the village, once a Jack Starling kept a cycle shop”.

Woodman Way – named after a botanist Dr Roland Marcus Woodman who lived at Willow House before Willow Crescent was built.

Townsend Close – behind this name hides a story reflecting the serious and lighter moments of village life as recorded by Ken Humphries, clerk to the parish council in July 1973. George Townsend, at 80 fell into Middleton pit (now filled in between the Community Centre and the Country Park), and “was saved by the timely action of a villager [Sally Summerfield] and her observant dog”.

Froment Way – is named after another old Milton family. Its Closes take the names of village families such as MansfieldBurling, Butcher (the blacksmith), Lander (past landlord of the Waggon & Horses), and Garner (high street shop). Two head teachers of the old school in Fen Road are remembered as Closes. One, Ballard was a master at the beginning of the 20th century, the other Sutton was a mistress in the 1940’s. Finally Bulteel Close is named after Major John Bulteel DSO living at Milton Hall in 1929. Conder Close is named in memory of Arthur Conder, who owned a baker, confectioner and grocers shop in the high street where he lived with his wife Edith Maud and their children.

Other Recent Developments

Coulson Close/Peter Goodin Close – are named after old trading families in the village.

Ken’s Way – is on the site of Ken Humphries old house. See also Humphries Way above.

Walkling Way – is named in memory of Eric Walkling nurseryman, and parish and district councillor for 42 years.

Edmund Close – takes the name of Messrs. Edmunds who operated the Alexandra Nurseries on the area which is now the Rowans/Sycamores until 1961 when Edmund House was founded.

Gunnell Close – the Gunnells were an important Milton farming family in the 18th and 19th Centuries, who also lived at Willow House and in houses in the High Street and Fen Road.

Fox’s Close – is named after Sir Cyril Fox the one time eminent local archaeologist and historian (note his book, ‘The Archaeology of Cambridgeshire’, published C.U.P. l923). Sir Cyril lived at Red Gables (also referred to in some references as “the Red House”) opposite Butt Lane and next to the The White Horse where new gabled houses exist today.

Barnabas Court – Barnabas Shipp was at one time employed by the Parish as a “roadman”. In 1961 the parish council reported that he was voluntarily sweeping and cleaning the bus shelter near the entrance to the sheltered housing. He was then aged 90! He lived to be over 100 and at one time there was a plan to name part of the Old School Lane development after him, however he finally got his immortality in 1998 when the sheltered
housing development was named after him.

This page is based on largely on Derek Booth’s articles in Milton Village View in 1998 and early 1999, with additional information gleaned from the last Milton conservation zone survey, past parish minutes, and the memories of residents.