Stockwood Park is located in South Ward at the southern end of Luton. It became a park in the ownership of Luton Council in 1945. Before that, from 1708, it was the estate of the Crawley family with Stockwood House at its heart.
The Crawley family vacated the house and estate in 1939 and the house was demolished in 1964.
The park covers an area of approximately 100 hectares and in addition to its regional significance in relation to the new Stockwood Discovery Centre provides the local district park facility for residents in the Farley and South Wards of Luton. It is located at the southern extreme of Luton and bounded by two roads (London Road and Farley Hill) which are both routes to/from the town centre. The M1 motorway runs within site of the western boundary. The park has a number of features and facilities which result in it being one of the most heavily visited of all Luton’s Parks; they include:
- Historic features
- County Wildlife Sit
- Stockwood Park Discovery Centre (opened in July 2008)
- Golf Centre, including a municipal 18 hole golf course
- Athletics Centre
- Rugby Club
- Football pavilion and pitches
- Children’s play area
- Riding stables
- Areas for informal recreation
Landscape and various features of historic value include:
- The tree lined avenue from Farley Hill to the centre of the park where Stockwood House once stood
- The stable block, now incorporated into the Discovery Centre; a very attractive building at the centre of the park
- The historic walled garden and other garden areas associated with the house
- The ha-ha which was constructed to the south of the house (part of it can still be seen near the children’s playground)
- The lodge house at the Farley Hill entrance, now in private occupation, but still an important visual element at the park entrance
- Lawn Path, the ancient right of way running through the park
- The original parkland trees and copses which gave structure and visual unity to the landscape and provide valuable habitats for wildlife
- Historic trees, boundary wall and some lodge gate entrances around the periphery of the park
There was once an ice house in the park, but there are now no visible remains of this.
These features all reflect the historic nature of the park and work is underway to interpret these so that visitors are made aware of their importance and the historic value of the park.