Your Guide to Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey first opened to the public in 1955 and has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. The house is currently closed in order to undergo a large scale refurbishment programme and will re-open in 2022.

Image for Woburn Abbey Today The 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford

400 years of history

The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, one of England's most powerful families, since the 1620s. It is currently the home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford and their children. Russell family members have included Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Lord High Admirals and philosophers over the centuries and provide a direct link to the events of the past that shaped the England of today. 

> Our Family Tree

Image for Woburn Abbey Today One of our views of Venice by Canaletto

Over 250 works of art

Woburn Abbey houses an outstanding collections of art works which will be once again be on display from 2022. These include:

  • The largest private collection of Venetian views painted by Canaletto on public view
  • The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Artists such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Van Dyck
  • Artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone

Image for Woburn Abbey Today The Grotto

Unique rooms within the Abbey

The splendid rooms include:

  • The unique Grotto which dates from the 1630s
  • The State Apartments with original 18th-century architecture
  • The Holland Library which is one of the largest private libraries with an extensive collection of natural history books
  • Underground vaults housing the family's gold and silver collection
  • The Chinese Room with its decorative wallpaper

Image for Woburn Abbey Today Woburn Abbey is an example of Palladian architecture

At The Heart of an English Palladian Home

The Abbey has been at the centre of social and political history which includes tales of political reform, Royal State visits, imprisonment, beheading, grand tours, love affairs and more. Famous house guests have included monarchs, politicians, leading naturalists, famous designers, architects and adventurers. 

> Our Timeline

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