A guide to museums in the county of Bedfordshire, England
This page Elstow Moot Hall - Wardown Park Museum
The Moot Hall in Elstow is a lovely 15th century building standing at one end of the village green. The Hall is a picturesque combination of timber-framing and red brick. Within the Hall is a museum of 17th century life with exhibitions on the life and works of Elstow's native son, author John Bunyan.
This museum, dedicated to the geology, archaeology, natural history, and social history of the Bedford area, occupies an old brewery once owned by Higgins and Sons.
The Leighton Buzzard Railway was a light-gauge railway built from surplus WWI battlefield supplies. Possibly the only surviving 2-foot gauge railway in the country, the LBR was opened in 1919 to carry sand and only added passenger service in 1968. The museum is home to the largest collection of light-gauge equipment in England. There are regular steam-train journeys to of about 3 miles (approximately 1 hour).
Mention 'Shuttleworth' and most people immediately think of aeroplanes. That's not surprising, for Shuttleworth is home to one of the world's great collections of vintage and historic flying machines tracing the history of flight back to its very beginnings. The Shuttleworth Collection is located at the Old Warden Aerodrome, one of the few aerodromes still using grass runways. In addition to the aircraft displays, There are vintage motorcycles and steam engines, plus vintage automobiles and motorcycles. Shuttleworth is home to the Birds of Prey Centre and the English School of Falconry, where you can see owls, hawks, falcons, vultures, eagles, and other birds of prey from around the world. And that's not all, for Shuttleworth also hosts Swiss Garden, a 10 acre Victorian garden surrounding a small Swiss-style cottage. Whew! That's a lot to see on one site!
Formerly the Stockwood Park Museum, this award-winning museum is set beside the Stockwood Country Park. Discover the archaeology, geology, and history of the Luton region from prehistoric times. The highlight of the museum's collection is the Wenlok Jug, a late 14th century bronze jug, or tankard, one of the finest examples of late medieval metalworking in Britain. There is also the Mossman collection of historic carriages - the largest carriage collection in Britain.
The Wardown Park Museum, formerly the Luton Museum and Art Gallery, is set in a restored Victorian mansion. The museum showcases the traditional traditional crafts of Bedfordshire, especially hat-making and lace-making. Lace exhibits show local work as early as the 17th century. Other exhibits include a gallery devoted to the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire regiment, a Luton Life gallery. There are numerous interactive displays and engaging ways for visitors to learn more about the social history of Luton and the area.
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