Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Centuries old gardens design scoops top modern day award for Woburn Abbey

 Woburn Abbey and Gardens are delighted to announce that the completion of a pavilion designed over 200 years ago has won the prestigious New Commission category of the 2012 Hudson’s Heritage Awards.  The striking red, green and gold pavilion in a Chinese-style was the inspiration of Humphry Repton, the famous landscape gardener, and sits on top of the attractive rockery in the gardens of Woburn Abbey, family home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford.


In 1802 Repton was commissioned by the 6th Duke to produce designs for enhancing the gardens and deer park and create interest for visitors.    The rockery and pavilion together were one part of Repton’s plan for formal ‘Pleasure Grounds’ at Woburn Abbey and illustrations of all of Repton’s designs and ideas were collated in his Red Book (1805), still held at the Abbey today.  Woburn has the most plans of Repton’s realised in the UK, but until this year the rockery stood uncompleted.

For the past seven years the Family along with the Estates Gardens Manager Martin Towsey and his team have been working tirelessly to restore Repton’s original plans for the ‘Pleasure Gardens’, which have also included an aviary and Children’s Garden.   In 2009 the Abbey Gardens team began restoring the rockery, which had suffered badly from weather over the years and was overgrown with trees, with the ultimate goal of recreating Repton’s original illustration.    In 2011 F Martin Ltd were commissioned to build the pavilion and together with the Abbey Gardens team constructed it on top of the rockery.  It took four weeks to build and a week to construct on site.  The entire project was successfully completed this summer and officially opened by Her Grace the Duchess of Bedford at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show.

The pavilion and rockery are on public display within the Abbey Gardens.  
For more information, visit www.woburn.co.uk/abbey or call 01525 290333.

Woburn Abbey Gardens Opening Times
Until 21st March 2013:10am to 4pm (last entry), closed 24th to 26th December 2012
22nd March to 3rd November 2013: 10am to 5pm (last entry)
4th November to 31st December 2013: 10am to 4pm (last entry) Friday, Saturday and Sunday only

Location of Woburn Abbey and Gardens
Just south east of Milton Keynes, Woburn Abbey is signposted from junctions 12 and 13 of the M1. It is also easily accessible from the A5.

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