United Kingdom

Old Bedford Road
Phone: 01582 546722
Fax: 01582 546763

Wardown Park Museum

Discover displays, objects and old photographs about the history of Luton and its people as well as activities, events and exhibitions for all ages and interests.

Permanent Collection

Wardown Park Museum is situated in a beautiful landscaped park around one and a half miles north from the centre of Luton.

The first floor galleries opened as the Luton Life displays in February 2003. Funded with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the displays explore the stories of Luton people over the past 150 years. Throughout the galleries there are listening posts where visitors can listen to Lutonians telling their stories. There are also hands-on exhibits and touchscreen computers with images of old Luton.

The ground floor galleries include the Living Landscape gallery with displays on archaeology and natural history (including the nationally important Shillington Roman Coin hoard and Bronze Age mirror), the Lace Gallery displaying some of the museum’s extensive collection of local lace and the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire gallery tells the story of this local regiment.

The ground floor also houses the exhibition gallery. The museum holds around four temporary exhibitions a year on different subjects. There are also events and activities for all ages and interests throughout the year.


Ancient Greeks: athletes, warriors and heroes
A British Museum touring exhibition
Sat 15 Mar - Sun 8 June
Wardown Park Museum
This amazing exhibition features highlights from the British Museum’s collections around the theme of competition in the Ancient Greek world: in sporting events such as the Olympics, as well as in politics, drama, music and warfare. The exhibition forms one of the largest selections of Greek artefacts ever lent by the British Museum.
Ancient Greeks: athletes, warriors and heroes is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families as part of the Strategic Commissioning Programme for Museum and Gallery Education 2006-8. Additional support is provided through the generosity of the Dorset Foundation.

Forthcoming exhibitions

The Magic of Masks & Puppets
Sat 28 Jun – Sun 28 Sept
This vibrant touring exhibition from the Scottish Mask & Puppet centre features exquisite shadow puppets from around the world. Visitors can see a fascinating collection of puppets from India, Indonesia, Greece and Turkey as well as giant Russian doll figures, Chinese Marionettes, an antique Bunraku puppet from Japan and a Burmese Prince and Princess from the nineteenth century.


Admission is free.

Opening hours

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
(open Bank Holiday Mondays)

Getting there

Free car parking available in Wardown Park.
Bus 24 or 25 from town centre, or 1 mile walk


There is free parking at the museum and good disabled access (including a lift to the first floor). A small tearoom serves drinks and snacks. The museum shop sells souvenirs, local history publications and old photographs.

Museum internal and external photos (1)

Click on the images to enlarge

News and events

Ancient Greeks - exhibition highlight talk II
Sun 30 Mar, Sat 19 Apr and Wed 30 Apr 3pm (approx 20 min)
Wardown Park Museum
Find out more about the objects on display in the Ancient Greeks exhibition and discover the Greek influence on the architecture of Wardown Park Museum. With Tim Vickers, Archaeology Curator at Luton Museums Service.
Medieval Luton - an archaeology walk
Sat 19 Apr 10am-12pm
Meet at 10am in front of the north porch of St Mary’s Church
Find out what Luton was like at the time of the Domesday Book. Join Tim Vickers, Archaeology Curator at Luton Museums Service, on this guided walk to discover the locations of some of Luton’s lost medieval buildings.
Free but please book on 01582 54 67 22.

The Trojan War: myth and history
Sun 6 Apr 2.30 – 3.30pm
Wardown Park Museum
Lesley Fitton, curator of Greek Bronze Age antiquities at the British Museum, looks at the stories that the Greeks told about the legendary Trojan War. Starting from the vases in the ‘Ancient Greeks’ exhibition she discusses what the Ancient Greeks knew about their ancient past and whether there was a historical reality behind the tales of the heroes and the epic siege of Troy.
Free but please book on 01582 54 67 22.