Using newspapers to research the Luton Hoo estate

Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Tom Mason-MckeanTom Mason-Mckean works as a volunteer with the Luton Hoo Walled Garden project, looking into all aspects of the estate’s history. It was great to hear how he’s been using The British Newspaper Archive in his research.

You can show us what you’ve found in The British Newspaper Archive by emailing




When I retired and started looking around for something to keep me occupied, I noticed that the Luton Hoo Walled Garden project in Bedfordshire was looking for researchers.


The history of the Luton Hoo estate

We are a voluntary group comprising gardeners, builders, toolmakers and researchers. We use The British Newspaper Archive to investigate various parts of the Luton Hoo estate’s history, including the owners, estate workers, the tools they used, where they lived and what they did.

I found this newspaper article from the Hertford Mercury and Reformer, printed on 18 November 1843, particularly interesting. It contained information about a fire and described how the housekeeper rallied other members of staff into rescuing the arts and treasures.


Newspaper article about a fire at Luton Hoo


Hertford Mercury and Reformer – Saturday 18 November 1843

View the whole newspaper page


People who worked at Luton Hoo

We are tracing the family trees of several people connected with the garden and estate, including some of the owners and workers. We are constantly researching and have also spoken to some of the descendants of the people who worked here.

I’ve discovered a number of very interesting newspaper articles about the people who worked here and what they did. One of these was published in the Luton Times and Advertiser on 20 September 1895.

The article concerns a harvest festival at Luton Hoo Chapel. It describes how the head gardener was not only responsible for cultivating and growing everything, but also made up the floral arrangements.


Newspaper article about a harvest festival at Luton Hoo


Luton Times and Advertiser – Friday 20 September 1895

View the whole newspaper page




You can find out more about the project and become a volunteer at the Luton Hoo estate’s website.



Leave a Response