Stockwood Discovery centre

2016-11-29 Posted in Airport Parking, Train Station

Stockwood Discovery centre

The Stockwood Discovery Centre, which was formerly known as the Stockwood Craft Museum, is currently one of the two museums which allow free admission in Luton. The other free museum in the local area is Wardown Park Museum and both of these museums are part of the London Culture charitable trust.

There are a number of different collections to enjoy in the Discovery Centre, including Rural Crafts, Geology, Archaeology and Local Social History. This provides a wide range of topics for people to enjoy and one of the most notable attractions in the centre is the biggest collection of horse-drawn carriages in the whole of Europe. Anyone who appreciates history, nobility and a sense of grandeur and class will find that this is an attraction that is well worth seeing.

The garden area is well worth exploring

While a lot of the focus falls on the collections held within the centre, there is a lot to be said for exploring the gardens of the Discovery Centre. There are a number of special areas which bring together great pieces and if you are looking for a destination to enjoy on a pleasant day, this is a fantastic attraction. The Period Gardens, were created from the middle of the 1980s but they showcase gardens from different periods of history. Of particular interest is the Dig For Victory Gardens, which highlights how people were encouraged to use their gardens to grow food during the Second World War.

Another highlight in the garden area is the Improvement Garden, which is billed as a classic garden, and it houses the artwork of Ian Hamilton Findlay, including some highly regarded sculptures.

A reason that Stockwood Discovery Centre is such a popular choice and it gets to welcome so many people through its doors is the fact that it can be hired out. It is a popular venue with respect to weddings, corporate gatherings, courses for adult learning and there is a high focus on arts and craft events. The centre also welcomes school visits and can accommodate group visits.

Arts and crafts are well covered in the Discovery Centre

The focus on rural crafts and art work owes a lot to the work undertake by Thomas Wyatt Bagshawe. Bagshawe was a known authority on life in the local area and he operated a small museum in Dunstable in 1925 and he was also the honorary curator when Luton Museum opened its doors back in 1927. Bagshawe, alongside Charles Freeman, travelled to Scandinavia where folk life museums were becoming popular. The duo took a great deal of inspiration from these trips and they sought to bring the style and displays to life back home when they returned.

In the period surrounding World War II, Bagshawe was heavily involved with scouring the local area to find crafts people and get to know what they had to offer to the local area. In the first couple of years after the war, Bagshawe’s collection expanded greatly, with close to 5,000 pieces being added to the collection. All of these pieces were documented and recorded for prosperity, helping to create such a strong spectacle for people looking in these days.

Bagshawe offered all of his collection to the Luton Museum back in 1954 and since the 1970s, this collection has been on display at the Stockwood Discovery Centre. Another item of interest in the

centre is the last tram than ran in Luton, providing good insight into the area and the way people used to live their lives.