Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Woburn Abbey

Another of our day trip visits last weekend. I have been before but I think one always finds more to appreciate on further visits to these historic homes. Woburn Abbey has been the home of the Dukes of Bedford for 400 years and is now occupied by the 15th Duke and his family. The Abbey houses one of the most important art collections in the world including paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Van Dyck and Cuyp.There is a fine collection of 21 views of Venice by Canaletto in the Dining Room. I think one of the outstanding features in this house is the gold and silver vaults in the basement Crypt. The collection upon collection of gold and silver tableware and household artifacts is amazing.

Front of the house

Looking back at the Pavilion surrounding a lake

Back of the house
The house is surrounded by a Deer Park and is home to 10 species of Deer which are native to Britain and 8 other species which originally come from Asia. Woburn Red Deer are famous throughout the world for their incredible antlers. The largest herd of Pere David Deer in the UK can be seen here. Descended from the Imperial Herd of China, this species was saved from extinction at Woburn in the late 1880's. Then in 1985, the Marquess of Tavistock, later the 14th Duke of Tavistock, gave 22 back to the People's republic of China and the herd is now well established in it's homeland and numbers several thousand. They really did look magnificant and I have never seen such varied and large herds in my life.Woburn also houses a Safari Park which of course is another day out. Hope you enjoyed your visit.


Isobel said...

Barbara: thank you for the "grand days out". I am spending a little time this afternoon catching up on the posts I missed while I was gone. So sad to hear that you were also under the weather, I hope that you are on the mend and no more migranes this summer. Looking forward to seeing where you put the gazebo, your garden is a joy to look at, you must spend many happy hours there.

Penless Thoughts said...

Enjoying your pictures and commentary.

Beach Girl said...

This history girl loves to see and read about these places that you are sharing. Thank you so much.


Hillside Garden said...

Hi Barbara, I found your post about Woburn Abbey in the moment and remember our holiday in 1996. We had an accident with the car and must stay two days in Dunstable. So we visited Woburn Abbey, but only the house, not the grounds.
We went to London with our daughter, to show her all the shops around Picadilly and she bought a pair of those horrible shoes in a also horrible colour.
In this time she looks like a little punk, she was twelf. After this we go to Scotland, to Perthshire.
I always like to read British blogs, and I saw, your daughter have also one.