Marsh Farm

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Marsh Farm
Public House and market at Marsh Farm - - 391531.jpg
The Purley Tavern public house, and street market
Marsh Farm is located in Bedfordshire
Marsh Farm
Marsh Farm
Location within Bedfordshire
Population10,000 (est.)
OS grid referenceTL0523
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLUTON
Postcode districtLU3
Dialling code01582
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°55′01″N 0°27′11″W / 51.9169°N 0.453°W / 51.9169; -0.453Coordinates: 51°55′01″N 0°27′11″W / 51.9169°N 0.453°W / 51.9169; -0.453

Marsh Farm is a suburb of Luton near to Leagrave and Limbury, mainly of council and social housing. The area is bounded by the edge of Luton to the north, Bramingham Road to the south, Spinney Wood and the path from the wood to the edge of Luton to the west, and Great Bramingham wood to the east.


The estate was built in the late 1960s, with a mixture of flats and houses as part of the post-war expansion of Luton, mostly for overspill population rehoused from London. The estates at Farley Hill, Hockwell Ring and Stopsley were all built at about the same time. The council owned tower blocks that dominate the estate are called Lea Bank, Penhill and Five Springs, each is of a similar design and are 14 floors each reaching a total height of 44.20m. (145.0 feet)

The estate takes its name from the farm that owned much of the land that eventually became the estate. Marsh Farm was located by Leagrave Marsh and part of the old farmland is now Leagrave Park.

There are several schools and there is a leisure centre as well as a few popular play areas.

The estate was infamous in July 1995 when the social problems on the estate boiled over into three days of rioting. Although local police received the help of the Metropolitan Police riot squad to bring the situation under control,[1] it was the rave organisers Exodus Collective who brought the riots to an end by staging an impromptu party out of town which drew 1500 young people from the area and calmed them down. The riots also resulted in a policeman being stabbed, all of the estate's public buildings being vandalised or set alight, cars were stolen and then set alight by joyriders as young as 12.[2][3] A less notorious riot also occurred on the estate in July 1992.

Whilst many parts of the estate still look like a typical 1960s development, the estate has £50m of European money available for re-development and plans are being drawn up by the local council and other interested parties.

In the summer of 1999 some regeneration money was used to fund murals on the underpasses around the estate. The lead artist, Viv McIntyre, visited each school on the estate and carried out workshops with the pupils where they provided the images (based on given themes) to create the mural designs. A team of artists then worked with the children to transfer the designs from paper to the walls.

Purley Centre[edit]

The Purley Centre, a former council-owned shopping centre with another multi-story block of flats above, and a pub The Purley Tavern, became run-down and eventually demolished as part of a major redevelopment in 2017-18. There is a now a new row of stores, low rise apartments and recreation space. All of this is in the vicinity of the Anglican church, Holy Cross. [4]


Marsh Farm is well connected by bus with regular services to Luton Town Centre. The estate benefits from the M1 as well connections to the A6. Luton Airport is within 7 miles.

Leagrave railway station is a 20-minute walk from Marsh Farm and there are frequent trains to Luton, St Albans, Bedford, London, Brighton and Sevenoaks. Arriva run their 24, 25 and 27 services through the estate, whilst Centrebus provide connections with their faster 'top10' service to the Town Centre.

Local schools and education[edit]

  • Whitefield Primary School, Stockholm Way
  • Waulud Primary School, Wauluds Bank Drive
  • Woodlands Secondary School, Northwell Drive
  • Lealands High School, Sundon Park Road
  • Lea Manor High School and community college Northwell Drive
  • Marsh Farm Library, Lea Manor High School


The estate lies within the ecclesiastical benefice of The Holy Cross, Marsh Farm and is served by the Parish Church of the Holy Cross (Church of England) built in 1976 and located in the centre of the estate adjacent to the medical centre on Purway Close. The Parish is registered with Forward in Faith and is Anglo-Catholic in its theology and worship. The Roman Catholic Church of The Holy Family is located off Northwell Drive and is one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of Northampton. During the season of Lent both Churches join together in the Stations of the Cross.[citation needed][5]


Marsh Farm makes up the Northwell ward is represented by Cllr Roy Davis (Labour) and Cllr Don Worlding (Labour).

The ward forms part of the parliamentary constituency of Luton North, and the MP is Sarah Owen (Labour). Marsh Farm is within the East of England.

Map of Luton showing Northwell ward

Local attractions[edit]

AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
Accessible open space Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country Park Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
Mosque Mosques
Museum (free)
Museum (free/not free)
National Trust National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo

Local newspapers[edit]

Two weekly newspapers are delivered free to all the houses in the area. However they are not specific to Marsh Farm. They are:

Marsh Farm in the media[edit]


External links[edit]