ⓘ History of Luton


ⓘ History of Luton

The earliest settlements in the Luton area were at Round Green and Mixes Hill, where Paleolithic encampments about 250.000 years old have been found. Settlements reappeared after the ice had retreated in the Mesolithic around 8000 BC, settlements have been found in the Leagrave area. Remains from the Neolithic 4500–2500 BC in this area are much more common. A particular concentration of Neolithic burials is at Galley Hill. The most prominent Neolithic structure is Wauluds Bank, a henge dating from around 3000 BC. From the Neolithic onwards, the area seems to have been fairly thickly populated, but without any single large settlement.

The first urban settlement nearby was the small Roman town of Durocobrivis at Dunstable, but Roman remains in Luton consist only of scattered farmsteads.With the nucleus of a settlement at Limbury with some evidence of significant buildings, as well as at Wigmore and Park Street.

The Foundation of Luton is usually dated to the 6th century when a Saxon Outpost was founded on the river Lea Tun. Although this is usually quoted by the etymology, there is evidence to show that Luton is named after the Celtic God of meadows, pronounced Loo, the river was once called the meadow and the village Lughs city and then Luton.

Luton is recorded in the Domesday Book as Loitone and also as Lintone, when the citys population was around 700-800. Agriculture dominated the local economy at this time.

In 1121 Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester started work on St Marys Church in the city centre, which was completed in 1137. A Motte and Bailey castle, which gives its name to castle street was built in 1139. The castle was demolished in 1154. The website is now at home in this application. During the middle Ages Luton is recorded as six watermills. Mill street, in the city centre, takes its name from one of them.

King John 1166-1216 hired the mercenary soldier, Falkes de Breaute, to act on his behalf. Breaute, a small town near Le Havre in France. When he married he bought his wife Margaret in London house, which became known as "Fawkes hall", subsequently corrupted over the years "football club", then "Vauxhall". In exchange for his services, king John granted Falkes the manor of Luton. He also received the right to wear its coat of arms and chose the mythical Griffin as his heraldic emblem. Thus, the Griffin became associated with both Vauxhall and Luton in the early 13th century.

By 1240 the town is recorded as Leueton. The city was in August of each years annual market for the surrounding villages, and with the growth of the town a second fair was granted in October from 1338.

In 1336, much of Luton was destroyed by fire, but the city was soon rebuilt.

The agriculture base of the town changed in the 16th century with the brick industry developing around Luton, many of the older wooden houses were rebuilt in brick.

During the English Civil war of the 17th century, there were two incidents in Luton, the first in 1645, when the royalists entered the town and demanded money and merchandise. Came the parliamentary forces and during the fighting four royalist soldiers were killed and captured 22 others. The second encounter took place three years later, in 1648, when the royalist army through Luton. A small number of which were attacked by parliamentary soldiers at the tavern on the corner of bridge street. Most of the group of royalists fled, and nine were killed.

It was in the 17th century, when the milliner that has become synonymous with the city. By the 18th century a milliner industry, especially straw hat manufacture, dominate the city, as the only significant industry. Hats are still produced in the city in a smaller scale.

The first Luton workhouse was built in 1722. A large workhouse was built in 1836.

Luton hoo, a large country house, was built in 1767. Little of the original building remains, most of which was rebuilt after a fire in 1843.