An ancient market town on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, straddling the old Roman Road (A5, Watling Street), at a point where it crosses the Great Ouse. Stratford is an Anglo-Saxon term meaning a ford crossing a main road. The precursor Stony, indicates, that the bed of the river was stony. The A5 runs through the centre of the town, forming a long high street lined with a range of independent shops, old inns, eateries and other small businesses.
Stony Stratford High Street © TAB
Stony Stratford was once an important stopping point on the London to Holyhead stagecoach route and several of the old coaching inns from this period still exist. In particular, the Bull (17th-c) and the Cock (15th-c), next to each other, which are the source for an old English term. The gossip that was exchanged within these pubs was renowned for being rather far fetched and fanciful, leading to the phrase "a cock and bull story".
Stony Stratford Market Square © TAB
Behind the church just off the main high street is the market square, overshadowed by several old stone-built houses, including the black-and-white Crown inn. A market has been held here since 1194. Although it has become a car park in recent times, a monthly farmers' market is still held in one corner.