Marsh Farm

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Not to be confused with Marsh Farm Junction or Inner Marsh Farm.
Marsh Farm
Marsh Farm is located in Bedfordshire
Marsh Farm
Marsh Farm
Marsh Farm shown within Bedfordshire
Population 10,000 (est.)
OS grid reference TL0523
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LUTON
Postcode district LU3
Dialling code 01582
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East 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 large housing estate in Luton, Bedfordshire near to Leagrave and Limbury, mainly of council and social housing.

The estate was built in the late 1960s, with a mixture of flats and houses as part of the post-war expansion of Luton. 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 15 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.[2][3] The 1995 riots followed similar riots in the area in 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 is the main focal point in Marsh Farm. The centre is a council-owned shopping centre with another multi-story block of flats above. There is a newsagent, a bakery, a butcher, a pharmacy, a convenience store and many other things in the shopping centre. There is a pub outside the centre, The Purley tavern, and a market is held every Thursday.

The shopping centre is in the process of being replaced and the old one knocked down, the new Purely is just a few metres to the west off of Northwell Drive.

The Marsh Farm (Area North) Festival happens every summer on the grassed area to the south of the Purley Centre and there is a recreation centre at Lea Manor that includes a floodlit AstroTurf pitch, swimming pool, gym, sauna and sports halls for Basketball, Squash, Badminton, Gymnastics, and has hosted Wrestling shows in the past, also Tennis courts are available, to hire.

The local landmark to the north is the grey water tower at the north west of the estate on Hampshire Way, and the area also has become home to Red Kites in the last couple of years, a bird of prey that was endangered in the 1980's.


Marsh Farm is well connected by bus with regular services to Luton Town Centre via Centrebus 10 and Arriva 27 and Busses to Dunstable town centre and L&D Hospital via the 24 bus, 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 , Flitwick, Harpenden, Gatwick Airport and Sevenoaks. The number 24, 25 and 27 arriva buses along with route 10 Centrebus services run through the estate.

Local schools and education[edit]

  • Whitefields Primary School, Stockholm Way
  • Sundon Park Junior School, Kinross Crescent
  • 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
  • Leagrave Library, Marsh Road
  • 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][4]


Marsh Farm falls into 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 Kelvin Hopkins (Labour). Leagrave 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 logo.svg Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
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]