Fred Roche Gardens
The “Fred Roche Gardens lie in the heart of the city centre, behind Christ the Cornerstone church and The Guildhall, and overlooked by offices on Silbury and Midsummer Boulevards. They provide a tranquil haven in the busy commercial district of Central Milton Keynes. The gardens include lawns, borders, formal features, and quiet seating areas, all laid out on a number of different levels by the original designers of Central Milton Keynes. A remnant of a lane predating Milton Keynes is preserved in one corner, and a number of sculptures by Bernard Schottlander are given an attractive setting.
Previously known as City Gardens, the gardens were officially re-named in honour of Fred Roche by the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Catriona Morris, at a private ceremony attended by members of his family and the Fred Roche Foundation on 9 November 2012, 20 years to the day after his death.
In 1970 Fred Roche CBE was appointed as the first General Manager of Milton Keynes Development Corporation 1970-1985, working with the chairman, Jock Campbell. His vision for Milton Keynes developed from his fascination with the Garden City Movement. He guided the development of the city into a richly landscaped place, integrating the surrounding countryside, with a network of parks, which provided a beautiful, healthy environment for its new population. He was Vice President of the Royal Institute of British Architects 1983-1985
On a recent visit, Michael Hunt records that this autumn there is some fine colour in this great garden with interesting trees.
Photographs by Michael Hunt