Contrary to common misconception, Milton Keynes was not named after the poet John Milton and the economist John Maynard Keynes: it was instead named after a village that already existed on the site of the proposed new town. The village was renamed Middleton in 1991, to distinguish it from the town.
Milton Keynes is in the Guinness Book of Records 2001 for having the longest shopping mall, at 720m long. It also has Europe's largest indoor ski slope, with real snow. Milton Keynes is the home of the Open University, the National Hockey Stadium and the National Badminton Centre.
The town's layout was planned on the basis of a prediction of a high level of car ownership by its inhabitants. The road scheme is based on a wide grid of "horizontal" and "vertical" roads, intersecting in many roundabouts of similar design. The famous concrete cows, life sized, painted statues intended to convey a pastoral impression to onlookers, are located close to one of these.
Within the spaces between these major "H" and "V" roads, there are a variety of styles of development, ranging from normal urban developement and industrial parks, to "village" developments.