From Academic Kids

Borough of Luton
Missing image

Status:Unitary, Borough
Region:East of England
Ceremonial County:Bedfordshire
- Total
Ranked 311th
43.35 km²
Admin. HQ:Luton
ONS code:00KA
- Total (2003 est.)
- Density
Ranked 76th
4,271 / km²
Ethnicity:71.9% White
18.3% S.Asian
6.3% Afro-Carib.
Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
Executive:Liberal Democrats
MPs:Kelvin Hopkins, Margaret Moran

Luton is a town and local government district in England, located 50km north of central London. Historically it was part of the county of Bedfordshire, but since the 1990s it has been an administratively independent unitary authority. However it remains part of Bedfordshire for ceremonial purposes. It is in the East of England region.

Luton is the home town of the Luton Town F.C. football club. Their nickname, "The Hatters", dates back to when Luton had a substantial hat-making industry.

London Luton Airport is situated to the south-east of the town. The main campus of the University of Luton is located in the town centre. From 1905 until 2002 the town had a Vauxhall Motors car factory. Dunstable is situated to the west of Luton. The M1 motorway runs between Luton and Dunstable though it does not form the border as parts of Luton are to the west of it.


Settlements have existed on the site since the paleolithic era, most notably the henge monument now called Waulud's Bank, which dates from 3000BC. The Roman settlement in the area was concentrated at Durocobrivis and Verulamium. The foundation of Luton is usually dated to the 6th century when a Saxon outpost was founded on the river Lea, Lea tun. Luton is recorded in the Domesday Book as Loitone, its population was 700. The town had a market for surrounding villages and grew steadily, if slowly. By the 14th century, the town had two fairs each year.

The agriculture base of the town changed in the 16th century with a brick making industry and in the 17th century when the hat making began. By the 18th century the hat making industry, especially straw hat manufacture, dominated the town as its only significant industry. Hats are still produced in the town on a smaller scale. Luton Hoo, a nearby large country house, was first built in 1757.

The town grew strongly in the 19th century, in 1801 the population was 3,000; by 1850 it was 10,000 and by 1901 it was almost 39,000. This rapid growth was fuelled by the arrival of the railway in 1858, which bypassed Dunstable, a nearby market town, which until then had overshadowed Luton. The town had its first town hall opened in 1847 and had a complete water and sewerage system by the late 1860s. Luton was made a borough in 1876 and the current football club was founded in 1885.

In the 20th century, the hat trade severely declined but was replaced by newer industries. Vauxhall Motors opened a car plant in the town in 1905, along with an Electrolux household appliances plant, followed by other light engineering businesses. The town had a tram system from 1908 until 1932 and the first cinema was opened in 1909. By 1914, the town's population reached had 50,000. The original town hall was burned down in 1919 during the victory celebrations at the end of the First World War; local people including many ex-servicemen, had been refused the use of a local park to hold celebratory events, and so made a bonfire of the town hall. A replacement town hall was completed in 1936. Luton Airport was opened in 1938, owned and operated by the council. In World War II, the town suffered a number of air raids, although only 107 people died there was extensive damage.

Post-war, the slum clearance continued and a number of substantial estates of council housing were built, notably at Farley Hill, Stopsley, Limbury and Leagrave. The M1 passed just to the west of the town from 1959 and a substantial covered shopping centre, the Arndale Centre, was opened in 1972.

Flights from the airport increased substantially from the 1960s as new charter airlines (e.g. Court Line) flew from there rather than the London airports. Despite problems in the 1970s, a new terminal was added in 1985. The airport was renamed London Luton Airport in 1990, just before Ryanair took its business to Stansted. The growth of new low cost flights rejuvenated the airport and passenger numbers more than doubled from 1992 to 1998. In 1999, a new terminal was added and a new railway station, Luton Airport Parkway, was opened. Luton enjoys good rail connection via its three stations to London and through to Brighton (Thameslink) and north to Derby, Manchester, Leicester, Nottingham and other cities on the Midland Mainline route.

In 2000, Vauxhall announced the end of car production in Luton; the plant closed in March 2002. At its peak it had employed around 35,000 people.

In 2004, Luton was voted as the 'crappest' town in the U.K. by its own residents, in the book Crap Towns II (edited by Sam Jordison and Dan Kieran) beating previous winners in Crap Towns (eds Sam Jordison and Dan Kieran) of Kingston upon Hull. It was said to have won due to its abundance of abysmally ugly architecture, abundance of chain stores and lack of heart.

Famous people from Luton

External links

Districts of England - East of England Flag of England

Babergh | Basildon | Bedford | Braintree | Breckland | Brentwood | Broadland | Broxbourne | Cambridge | Castle Point | Chelmsford | Colchester | Dacorum | East Cambridgeshire | East Hertfordshire | Epping Forest | Fenland | Forest Heath | Great Yarmouth | Harlow | Hertsmere | Huntingdonshire | Ipswich | King's Lynn and West Norfolk | Luton | Maldon | Mid Bedfordshire | Mid Suffolk | North Hertfordshire | North Norfolk | Norwich | Peterborough | Rochford | St Albans | St Edmundsbury | South Bedfordshire | South Cambridgeshire | Southend-on-Sea | South Norfolk | Stevenage | Suffolk Coastal | Tendring | Three Rivers | Thurrock | Uttlesford | Watford | Waveney | Welwyn Hatfield

Administrative counties with multiple districts: Bedfordshire - Cambridgeshire - Essex - Hertfordshire - Norfolk - Suffolk


eo:Luton fr:Luton no:Luton sv:Luton


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools