Woburn is a pretty residential village and tourist attraction, a few minutes drive from Woburn Abbey. Visitors can enjoy Woburn's Georgian centre and the Woburn Heritage Centre local history museum.
Various independent shops offer a unique shopping experience and are well-worth a visit.
Woburn also has a monthly Farmers' Market on the third Sunday of the month organised by the Village Traders.
There is free parking in the village.
The History of Woburn
First recorded as a hamlet in 969 and found in the Doomsdaybook of 1086, Woburn Village has a fascinating history. The village may have been called "Woburne Chapell" in Medieval times, in order to distinguish it from the Abbey.
Woburn has been burned down and rebuilt three times. A mediaeval chimney fire spread due to the prevalence of thatched roofs and closely built houses. Then, during the English Civil War, the Cavaliers burned down much of the village and in 1724 a third fire destroyed much of the town, which was re-built in the Georgian style that remains today.
During the nineteenth century, Woburn was an important staging post on a nationwide coaching network. The town had 27 inns and the first 24 hour post office outside London. However, with Woburn Sands and not Woburn being selected for a railway station, Woburn's importance attached to its strategic location decreased. The population fell from 2,100 in 1851 to 700 about a century later.
The wife of the 11th Duke, later known as the Flying Duchess due to her pioneering flights to South Africa, India, and many other countries in the 1920s, was keen that the village should have a cottage hospital. Started in 1897 at 1 Leighton Street, a purpose-built hospital was later built in 1904 at the end of Leighton Street named Maryland, after the Duchess. The hospital became an education centre in 1948. It has now been converted into private apartments.
During WWII Woburn Abbey housed government and services departments and was also home to the Wrens who worked at Bletchley Park. Woburn was at the centre of much secret activity with Black Propaganda stations at Milton Bryan, Aspley Guise and at Maryland.