Pictures of Woburn
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The magnificent Abbey of Woburn is yet another of the jewels in England's crown of glorious historic properties that stand in testimony to our islands turbulent, yet noble, past.
The picturesque village of Woburn has an mixture of delightful old cottages, some are of rusty red brick under a tiled roof and others of an earlier date, are half timbered black and white with dormer windows almost hidden under a thick thatched roof. Creeper runs riot up ancient walls and in high summer delightful small gardens are heavy with the scent of old roses, lavender and herbs. Chance upon the village which lies in the heart of lovely wooded countryside and you will certainly chance upon the great palatial 18th-century mansion that is Woburn Abbey.
Henry VIII granted the buildings and land at Woburn to John Russell and created him Ist Baron Russell, this was in the year 1593 at the time of the Dissolution. Later, Baron Russell was made Ist Earl of Bedford by Edward VI and later still the 5th Earl was given a Dukedom by William III. In early times the Russells' did not live at Woburn but it has been the family home since the 17th-century when they built themselves a house on the monastic site. This house was demolished during the 18th-century when the brilliant Henry Flitcroft was commissioned to rebuild it. He was aided in this task by John Sanderson and together they remodelled the Abbey. Most famously Flitcroft reconstructed the west front with it's magnificent state rooms which were completed in 1760.
The end of the 18th-century saw Henry Holland who had been the architect of Carlton House, London, commissioned to carry out further improvements and it is he who is responsible for the east front, the chinese dairy and the splendid orangery.
The State Salon has a richly gilded ceiling, sumptuous chandoliers and is stylishly furnished with a mixture of superb french and english furniture. It is adorned by rare and beautiful works of art and prized porcelain. The whole house is a treasure trove of rare and beautiful objects.
The formal landscaped grounds of the superb 3,000 acres of fine parkland were set out by Humphrey Repton.
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