Luton in 50 Buildings
Series: In 50 Buildings
- Paul Rabbitts
15th February 2020
The Bedfordshire town of Luton originated in the sixth century when the Saxons established a farm or settlement (called a ‘tun’) by the River Lea. Farming and agriculture became the major industries, while the local market brought in people from the surrounding villages. The hat-making industry dominated the town from the seventeenth until the twentieth century, while in 1905 Vauxhall Motors opened there, followed by the airport in 1938. Although car manufacturing ceased in 2002, the town continues to prosper with a growing population and much redevelopment taking place.
In Luton in 50 Buildings author Paul Rabbitts looks at how the town’s buildings and landmarks, both old and new, reflect its long and fascinating history. Among the places featured are some of the town’s historic churches, inns and residences, the town hall and the Kenilworth Road football ground. Also featured are Luton Central Mosque, the expanding airport and the stately home of Luton Hoo, originally designed by Robert Adam in the eighteenth century for the 3rd Earl of Bute. Each of these structures and landmarks has its own stories to tell, as well as documenting a significant aspect of Luton’s social, cultural and industrial heritage.