Stockwood Discovery Centre
Housed in tranquil parkland on the site of the former Stockwood House approximately two miles to the south of Luton town centre, close to junction 10 of the M1 visitors will find rural crafts and trades on display, giving a flavour of life in Bedfordshire before the industrial revolution.
The Discovery Centre’s facilities include a café, shop, extensive gardens, children’s outdoor area, feature exhibitions and corporate venue hire. The centre has an environmental theme running throughout and hosts various collections along with the Mossman carriages, which is the largest museum collection of horse-drawn vehicles in the UK. There are also fascinating displays explaining the history of the area including the former Stockwood House.
The beautiful period gardens are situated within the original walled gardens of Stockwood House. They are inspired by nine centuries of gardening history including an Elizabethan knot garden and Victorian cottage gardens. At Stockwood visitors can see the work of international artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay. The Improvement Garden has a classical theme, with sculptures full of allusions to ancient Greece and Rome. The centre holds events and activities for all ages and interests and together with the new outdoor play area.
For news of up-to-date exhibitions, events, activities, venue hire and children’s birthday parties call 01582 548600 or click the button below
Free admission and parking
Luton’s Wardown House reopened in April 2017 following a £1.8m refurbishment funded from the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve the historic building and transform the way its story is told.
Originally the house was designed as a private residence for Frank Scargill, a local solicitor in 1872.The house was bought by two local councillors in 1903 and the grounds opened as a public park. The house became a museum in 1931.
Following the refurbishment new areas of the house have been opened giving visitors an insight into a wealthy family home during the Victorian period – including the billiard room, smoking room, library and kitchen whilst also telling the story of Luton’s transformation to the exciting and diverse town it is today. Volunteer museum makers work with staff to create costumed tours, talks and special events to bring the story to life.
Using collections from the Luton news archive, the hat industry and straw work to natural history and the Luton voices archive, the displays chart the development of Luton and celebrate its diverse communities.
The dining room has been opened as a brand-new café has also opened with access to the park, the morning room has become a new art gallery as well as venue for weddings and exhibitions.
UK City of Culture Pilot Year 2019
A number of artistic events will be running from May to October 2019 referencing the chronology of the Peace Riots in 2019 which resulted in the burning down of the town hall. The programme will focus on the similarities and differences between past and present democracy, community action and ‘people power’ with one major event a month. Events will be taking place within the town centre and beyond to the outer wards.