The Rich History of Wardown Park | River Lea
Wardown Park is a must-visit if you ever get a chance while in the neighbourhood. The park offers activities that will be exciting for all kinds of visitors, Friends or family members of all ages. The Wardown Park is situated on River Lea right here in Luton and is within walking distance from the Town Center, with other attractions including The Wardown Park Museum and very beautiful formal gardens where many private and public events are held. As you enjoy your stay at any of Huku kwetu serviced accommodation, take a minute to unwind when you visit Wardown Park.
The Landlords of The Park
The area was once a farmhouse and residence way back in the 1800s, starting off as an estate owned by Richard How. His son, later on, built the Bramingham Shott, the first structure on the piece of land that later came to house what is currently the Wardown Park Museum.
The property changed hands over the years, with it being renamed to Wardown by J Forder. In 1904, the property which included the house and about 11 acres, was bought on behalf of Luton Council by Councilors Asher Hucklesby & Edwin Oakley. Various improvements were also made to the park including planting more trees, constructing bridges and setting paths on the greens. The first-ever bowling green in Luton was also constructed here, back in 1905.
The lake by the park – the beauty spot
At the centre of the park is a lake that was created by widening River Lea back in the Victorian Era. The lake also has a small island that is home to various waterfowl including geese, ducks and swans. Adjacent to the lake is a children’s play park which was refurbished between 2005 & 2006. Up until 2004 when the local boatman retired, you could hire a boat for rides during the summer.
The Story of Wardown House Building
Wardown House building is one of the major attractions at the park with its rich history. It had been empty for a few years after being bought by the Council and during World War I, it was converted to a military hospital. After the war, a few rooms were let for use by the Council for its activities, with a Café opening on the ground floor. In 1930, the museum was moved here and occupied two rooms.
Over the years it grew to occupy the whole house.
The Park is a favourite for sports enthusiasts, featuring a Cricket Ground as well. The first-ever recorded match was held there in 1906 between Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Over the years, the grounds have hosted over 122 Minor Counties Championships matches. It is home to the Luton Town and Indians Cricket Club.
Wardown Museum opens on Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m and on Sundays, 1.00 p.m – 5.00 p.m, making it very convenient for visitors as well as those enjoying Huku Kwetu self Catering accommodation in and around Luton. Admission into the museum is free.