Luton in old picture postcards

Luton in old picture postcards

:   F. Hackett
:   Bedfordshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2132-3
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Luton in old picture postcards'

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59. The Brache watermill was one of seven ancient mills which stood on the River Lea within the boundaries of Luton sin ce very early times. As seen in this photograph of 1865, it was an overshot type with the water ponded up above the wheel. It was owned by the Browns, a well-known Quaker family posing here in fashionable dress. Over the years the Browns were prominent in many fields of business in Luton. The watermilI was off Osborne Road and its site is now beneath the Vauxhall Factory.

60. The Moor was an ancient area of cornmon land over which, in farmer times, the inhabitants of Luton held grazing rights, It was therefore, by tradition, jealously guarded by Lutonians. Originally it formed two detached parts known as the Little Moor and the Great Moor. The farmer, which was at the corner of Bridge Street and New Bedford Raad, was enclosed and built on in 1808. The Great Moor was to become the subject of dispute when land was needed to build the railway.

61. This view of the Moor and Old Bedford Road was painted by W.F. Day, a Luton artist who had a studio in Wellington Street in the 1920's. He later went to America where he was employed in painting Hollywood film sets. Remarkably this view can be recognised today despite the fact that the Moor is a small part of its former extent.

62. Luton was justly proud of the tree-lined road entering the town from the north. As the title 'New Bedford Road' suggests it was built, financed by a Turnpike Trust, to replace the old undulating road from Mill Street which made life difficult for horse-drawn traffic especially where it passed over the Barton Hills. The new road was opened in 1832 and many large houses were built along it overlooking the Moor.

63. The most difficult section of the new road to Bedford was the Chalk escarpment forming the Barton Hills. To lessen the gradient a cutting was made requiring the removal by horse and cart of thousands of tons of chalk. This massive engineering project took three yards and the resulting road remained substantially the same until it was widened in 1980 to cater for modern traffic.


".covers Walk" j3edford Road

64. The path eonneeting New Bedford Road and Old Bedford Road, whieh now forms the southern boundary of Wardown Park, was ealled 'Lover's Walk'. The alternative name of 'Lawn Walk' was used by those not so romantieally inelined. A map of 1905 also refers to it as Seargill's Path, beeause the estate had previously belonged to Frank Chapman Seargill, a prominent loeal solicitor and Clerk to the Justices.

65. Scargill, who was the first Clerk to the Council when Luton was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1876, purchased the land that is now Wardown Park in the early 1870's. He demolished the farm house which stood there and built the mansion in 1875. To design it he engaged the architect Thomas Charles Sorby, who chose Luton red brick and Triassic Sandstone from Mansfield for the materials. The name he gave to it was Brammingham Shott.

66. The grounds were laid out as a parkland estate sorne fifty acres in ex tent with the River Lea winding through it. Four lodges were built as well as a large vinery. In addition to the general greenhouse, there was a melon house and a cucumber house as well as a summer house. It is clear that na expense was spared in laying it out.

67. An important feature of the house is the splendid portico with its Latin inscriptions carved into the stone and the terracotta heads of famous nineteenth century politicians. The house had eighteen bedrooms as well as a bi1liard room and five reception rooms. Accommodation was provided for at least ten servants and there were extensive stables and coach houses.

"The House."-Wardown Park, Luton.

Photographed and Publisbed by A. J. "'''OERsO'' & Co. Luton and Leighton Buzzard,

68. When Seargill left Luton in about 1893, he let the house to B.l.H. Forder, who ehanged its name to Wardown. It later passed to Hailey Stewart, father of Sir Maleolm Stewart founder of the London Briek Company. In 1903 he deeided to seil both the house and the land and they were purehased by two loeal eouneillors Edwin Oakley and Asher Hueklesby for 116,250. They then sold them to the town eouncil for the same priee and the grounds were opened to the public in 1905.

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