Study Day: Humphry Repton at Woburn Abbey

Study Day: Humphry Repton at Woburn Abbey

When the 6th Duke of Bedford inherited Woburn in 1802, he commissioned the famous landscape gardener, Humphry Repton (1752-1818), to create designs to enhance the gardens and parkland. His ideas were written and illustrated in his ‘Red Book’ of 1805. With the Duke being Repton’s most important client, at a time of declining commissions, the Woburn Red Book is one of his largest works. It also contains Repton’s most ambitious and detailed designs covering the approaches to the Abbey, the lakes and plantings in the surrounding parkland and the formal Pleasure Grounds. Repton himself wrote that his designs “have nowhere been so fully realised” as they have been at Woburn.

On this study day, take an in-depth look at Humphry Repton’s career, what made him such a remarkable and visionary landscape gardener, his techniques and processes and the creations he conceived. Woburn’s Red Book and Woburn Abbey’s archived journals and account books from 1805 to 1810 will give firsthand accounts of Repton’s methods and ingenuity. An exploratory guided walk through the gardens and deer park will reveal how Repton’s designs were implemented, how they have fared throughout the centuries and the restoration and recreation projects happening today.

This study day is presented by writer and landscape designer Keir Davidson.

Study Day Itinerary

  • Coffee and tea on arrival at 10.00am, starts at 10.30am
  • Morning lecture: Landscapes of the Imagination; the art and gardens of Humphry Repton (1752 - 1818)
  • Morning lecture: Repton at Woburn
  • Lunch*
  • Guided walk through Woburn Abbey’s deer park and gardens with Keir Davidson and Gardens Manager Martin Towsey
  • Departure 4.00pm

*lunch is not provided, please bring your own lunch.

£45.00 per person

For further details and to book your place telephone 01525 290333 or email

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