In 1802 Repton was commissioned by the 6th Duke to produce designs for enhancing the gardens and deer park. The Duke wanted to create points of interest for the guests he entertained at Woburn Abbey.
The rockery and pavilion formed part of Repton’s plans for formal ‘Pleasure Grounds’ at Woburn Abbey and illustrations of all of Repton’s designs and ideas were collated in his Red Book. This book was completed in 1805 and is still held at the Abbey today. The Woburn Estate has the greatest number of realised Repton plans in the UK, but until 2011 the rockery stood uncompleted.
The Pavilion Commission
In 2009 the Gardens Team began restoring the rockery, which had suffered from weather damage 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 the top of the rockery. It took four weeks to build and a week to put together on site.
Award Winning Restoration
The project went on to win the Hudson’s Heritage Award 2012.
The entire project was successfully completed and officially opened by Her Grace, The Duchess of Bedford at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show in 2012.