The Chinese Dairy

Image for The Chinese Dairy A View of The Chinese Dairy Today

The Chinoiserie Style

The Chinese Dairy was designed by Henry Holland in the Chinoiserie style in 1787 for Francis, 5th Duke of Bedford. Sir William Chambers’ pattern book ‘designs’ was published in 1785 and developed the Chinese style, known as Chinoiserie. It was from this source that Holland derived much of the detail for the dairy. The Duke wished to create an appropriate setting for his collection of oriental porcelain, dishes and plates.

The Dairy was originally joined to the house by a covered walkway, part of which you can still see today. The Chinese trees continue the theme from the Dairy into the Garden and the windows were painted with Chinese characters and botanical specimens by Theodore Perrache. The fish in the pond are mainly species of carp and records show it was a regular occurrence for the 6th Duke to feed the fish each morning at 6.00am.


Image for The Chinese Dairy The Chinese Dairy Under Reconstruction

Chinese Dairy Restoration

The Chinese Dairy was built in 1794 and restored in 2004. The pond is 12ft deep at the centre and was drained to a depth of 6ft during the reconstruction phase so that the koi fish did not have to be removed. All planting around the pond is new except for 3 original trees.

The planting includes a Eucommia (Eucommia ulmoides), a small tree native to China. It is "near threatened" in the wild, but is widely cultivated in China for its bark as it is highly valued in herbology, especially traditional Chinese medicine. If a leaf is torn across, strands of latex exuded from the leaf veins solidify into rubber.

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Events & Exhibitions

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'Grow your own' masterclass with Pippa Greenwood

Learn how to 'Grow Your Own' from this well-known gardening expert.
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Spring and Easter Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in spring flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
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Spring Pruning Study Day

This session is designed to give you a wide range of pruning skills - you will get hands on with plant material in order to gain confidence in your own garden maintenance.
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Twilight Parkland Tour - April

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
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Jonathan Moseley - Create a Cutting Garden Patch

Learn from the expert and create a colourful cutting patch at home.
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Twilight Parkland Tour - May

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
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Garden Show - VIP Packages

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We invite you to enjoy a very special day out at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show with our exclusive VIP packages.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2018

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After the huge success of the 2017 Garden Show this June we are pleased to announce that tickets can now be purchased for the 9th Woburn Abbey Garden Show taking place on 23rd and 24th June 2018. Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey, ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’ offers visitors one of the best location of any show in the UK, taking place within the 42 acres of Abbey Gardens.
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Twilight Parkland Tour - July

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
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Bee Walk

Discover the importance of attracting bees to your garden and, more importantly, how to attract them.
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Bat Walks

Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
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Bat Walks

Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
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Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in Christmas flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.