Sir Julius Wernher purchased the Luton Hoo Estate and the Manor of Luton from Madame de Falbe around 1903. He carried out substantial renovation works to the Manor and grounds. On his death in 1912 the estate passed to Lady Ludlow.
Lady Ludlow presented the Park to the people of Luton on the 12th June 1920 in memory of her son Alex Piggott Werner who was killed in action during the First World War (1916). She unveiled the War Memorial to her son, which is located in a central position in the park, at a ceremony on 10th December 1922 and the site was officially named Luton Hoo Memorial Park.
Council records state that the area was purchased under the Statutory Powers of the Public Health Acts. The description provided in the Deeds is 15 Cutenhoe Road - Land at r/o (Memorial Park) Park Land.
Council minutes from 1922 and 1923 provide information that helps to paint a picture of the park environment at that time. These suggest that the original park benefited from a range of facilities, considered at the time to improve public health including a bandstand, tearoom, glasshouses, a shelter and public toilets.
Other interesting snippets from the Council records help to complete a picture of activity at the park during this period, for example
Regular park users who can remember the park from their youth suggest that other features included a pitch and putt, an ornamental rockery and a reflective garden area and promenade adjacent to the Memorial.
Do you have any memories of Memorial Park? Do you have pictures of the original park features such as the bandstand or the pitch and putt? If so we would love to hear from you. Please email/post them in, contact details below.