Olney History – The Society was founded in 1997 by a group of like-minded people determined to keep Olney history alive for all generations of people in the town and those who have since moved away from Olney.

Provisionally launched  Nov 2021

The selection  is drawn from a private collection of post cards. The postcards were collected over many years, the majority of which, have survived the rigours of Royal Mail.  The dates superimposed on each image are those on the post mark, and not necessarily the dates when the cards were originally printed.




No. 32 Market Place – c. Spring 1889

This trail features:
a light introduction to the history of Olney Market Place for the period from 1800 to the present,
a superior set of voiceovers addressing the Market Place and a selection of the surrounding buildings and their residents,
a presentation optimised for smartphones which works well for tablets and laptops,
image collections that can be viewed enlarged whilst listening to the audio presentations,
minimal walking and may be suitable for people with limited mobility (it can even be viewed in your home of course).

This Olney Market Place trail should be considered as complementary to the Olney High Street trail launched in September 2020 as it possesses similar features. (See immediately below.)



Olney High Street – Heritage Trail (Smartphone/Audio Version)

This (September 2020) Olney Heritage trail has all the attributes of the new Olney Market Place (audio) Heritage trail. (See immediately above.) It also has a superior set of audio voiceovers.

After presenting a light history of Olney’s notoriously wide High Street stretching from the Market Place in the south to the Knoll at its north end, the trail continues by addressing a selection of the surrounding buildings and their residents.



Chronolological History of Olney

Click this link for a ‘potted’ or summary of Olney’s history followed by a more detailed chronological history of Olney in six sections. 


What was Olney like immediately after WW2? 

Elements of Olney’s Social History Post WW2 (!945 – 1960) are revealed by clicking the links to the following three sections on this website:
 1 Social History, 2 Leisure Pursuits & 3 Significant National Influences.
The original plan was to compile four sections, the fourth being Personal Recollections.  Section 4 has yet to be completed –  the ODHS is looking for volunteers to produce contributions to add to this Section. Are you up for it?

The ODHS is acutely aware that the more recent periods of Olney’s history since the end of WW2 have yet to be written. The completion of this task is now particularly urgent as the town’s culture has been dramatically transformed during this period, probably more than any other in its history. The transformation has arisen mainly from Olney’s major population growth resulting from the proximity of Milton Keynes. Moreover Olney’s current population who have experienced this cultural change are in the best position to record it for posterity! Again, are you interested in making a contribution?


Are you aware of the ‘Coat of Arms’, ‘Badge’ or ‘Crest’ of the town of Olney? 

Check out their status using this link.






Click (or tap) any image in the ‘slider’ below for a direct link to the feature or article.

  • MARKET PLACE TOUR - covers the Market Place and surrounding buildings from 1800s to 1950s.

Link to Family History Guidance

Popular features on Olney’s History

Each of the following three features (a feature usually comprises several web pages) can be accessed directly by clicking the text or images below:

Link to full content of Features

Popular articles on Olney’s History

Each of the following nine articles can be accessed directly by clicking the text or images below:

Link to the full set of Articles

ODHS is a member of the

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Copyright © Statement: Unless acknowledged otherwise, text and images used on this site are the copyright of Olney & District Historical Society. Permission is granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only, but the Society reserves all rights with regard to commercial reproduction. 


Site last reviewed: November 2021

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