Woburn Abbey
Woburn Abbey
Woburn Abbey began life as a Cistercian monastery in the mid 12th century. The monks had a good four century run, but the abbey was disbanded in 1543 as part of Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. The abbot of Woburn was hanged from an oak tree that still stands at the abbey gate.
In 1547 Henry's son, Edward VI, gave Woburn to Sir John Russell, and it has remained in the possession of the Russell family to this day.
The old abbey buildings were not made into a house until 1619, but when the Russells finally got around to improving the old monastery they did it in grand style, creating one of the finest stately homes in England.
In 1694 the then Lord Russell was implicated in the plot to prevent the Catholic Duke of York ascending to the throne, and Russell was among those excecuted. A few short years later and pendulum swung the other way and Russell's son was made Duke of Bedford and Marquess of Tavistock by William III as reward for the faith of his father.

The present house at Woburn Abbey was remodelled by Flitcroft and Henry Holland into a treasure house of ceramics, silver, furniture, and paintings, including, among others, works by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Velasquez, and over 20 views of Venice by Canaletto.

The extensive (3000 acres) gardens at Woburn Abbey were laid out by Humphrey Repton beginning in 1802, but today's garden is largely Victorian in character, containing a deer park, ponds, a woodland garden, maze and a Chinese dairy.

About Woburn
Address: Woburn, Bedfordshire, England, MK17 9WA
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: 8 m NW Dunstable, on A4012
Website: Woburn
Email: admissions@woburn.co.uk
Phone: 01525 290 333
Historic Houses Association
Location map
OS: SP965 325
Photo Credit: Philip Halling, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence


HERITAGE

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17th century (Time Period) -


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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest

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