Waulud's Bank - Luton's Henge?

The outer bank of Waulud's BankCan you see the bank?Waulud’s Bank is a nationally important ancient prehistoric and historic monument at the source of the River Lea, adjacent to the Marsh Farm Estate in Luton. It has been called a Henge monument by some and a domestic site by others. The purpose of this site is not to present either idea as fact, but to try to present the evidence for this complicated site and for you to decide.

Over the past 135 years material has been found on the site covering 10,000 years of human occupation of the area. The first finds were flint tools discovered on the ground by famous Luton and Dunstable antiquarian Worthington George Smith in 1878. Later excavations, by James Dyer and others, revealed Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Medieval artefacts, suggesting a real depth of occupation over the millennia, but it is still not clear when it was built or why.

All these artefacts are curated by Luton Culture on behalf of Luton Borough Council. In 2010 we were successful in being awarded £10,000 from the Museums Associations Effective Collections Grant Fund to work towards making the archaeology collection physically more accessible.

'Stones 'n' Bones', our Waulud’s Bank Micro-Museum, which is available to schools on loan, is the product of this project. It is a mobile micro-museum, complete with real artefacts from the site, replica objects and archives which were developed in partnership with 25 year 9 students from Lea Manor School, Luton.

Map of Waulud's Bank 1908Map of Waulud's Bank 1908To find out more about this project please have a look at the project narrative. You can also read up about the site through the high quality hand outs we have created.

Perhaps you want to produce something like this for your school or museum? If so we have produced a toolkit, breaking down the learning outcomes into ten areas to cover what we learnt and how you could take this further as well as an extensive evaluation report produced by Julie Reynolds.

It has been hard to capture the benefits of this project as they have been many and varied, but one of the most important outcomes has been taken from a year 9 student’s evaluation. Before the project they knew the site as simply a field they walked through on the way to MacDonald’s. Now they know it as Waulud's Bank, a nationally important archaeological monument.

If you would like to find about more about the Waulud's Bank Archive, including original artefacts and archive, please get in touch with:

Project Co-ordinator

Tim Vickers

timothy.vickers@lutonculture.com