Explore the magnificent gardens at Woburn Abbey.
The 28 acres of gardens include the Folly and Children’s Garden, the Chinese Dairy and Maze.
Don’t miss the Pagoda topped Rockery and The Long Borders. These are known as the fireworks of the gardens and were chosen by The Duchess of Bedford.
Explore the 3000 acre deer park with its nine species of deer.
Woburn Abbey is home to the Duke and Duchess of Bedford.
Woburn will be reopened to visitors in 2022.
Founded as an Abbey in 1145 with monks from Fountains Abbey, the estate was given to the Russell family in 1547 by Edward VI.
By 1661, a series of enclosed gardens were laid out to the west of the house. George London created the circular Bason Pond at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1730s Charles Bridgeman was commissioned to update the formal gardens.
In 1744, the 4th Duke of Bedford employed Henry Flitcroft to rebuild the west side of the house while the 5th Duke appointed Henry Holland to build the south wing. Holland also designed the Chinese Dairy and the Sculpture Gallery.
In 1802, John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford inherited Woburn. An advocate of parliamentary reform, Russell was also a keen art collector and fascinated by horticulture and botany – he rebuilt Covent Garden Market in 1830. Russell invited Humphry Repton to visit Woburn in 1805 and delighted with Repton’s plans displayed in a Red Book [Repton gave all his clients a Red Book with watercolours of before and after designs] commissioned Repton to create the formal and ornamental gardens.
Using Repton’s Red Book, the gardens are currently being restored. They will be finished by 2025 and will be the best surviving example of Repton’s work.