Image for Furniture Parquetry Bureau A Cylindre Made by Reisner

Historic Pieces

Many of the pieces of furniture throughout the Abbey have incredible stories to tell. 

For example, this parquetry bureau a cylindre, made by Jean-Henri Reisner in 1774, was used by Lord John Russell. He was twice Prime Minister during the reign of Queen Victoria and was thought to use this desk to write his speeches to Parliament. The German-born Jean-Henri Riesener became cabinet maker to Louis XVI of France and was a favourite of Marie-Antionette. The bureau bears the mark of the Tuileries which indicates that it was formerly part of the French Royal Collection. 

Other pieces are notable for their construction and design. In the Book Room you will find a metamorphic library table which transforms into a set of steps to reach the books on higher shelves. These were produced by the London firm of Mayhew & Ince and cost the 5th Duke sixteen guineas in 1791. 

On your walk around Woburn Abbey look out for our Boulle pieces including two writing desks, which date from the 17th century. Boulle work is a skillfully cut combination of brass and tortoiseshell, named after French maker André-Charles Boulle. You will also find two Boulle marriage caskets and stands, which were made in 1812 by the English maker Thomas Parker and are currently displayed in the Long Gallery. 

Image for Furniture The Blue Drawing Room

The Blue Drawing Room

The State Suite, still in situ in The Blue Drawing Room, was commissioned from Samuel Norman around 1755. This room is also home to an exceptional 18th-century desk and cartonnier from the furniture maker Phillipe Claude Montigny. A cartonnier is a filing cabinet placed at the end of the desk. 

The pair of pier glasses in this room were designed by Whittle and Norman, interior designers commissioned by the 4th Duke in the 1750s. The large panes of glass would have cost more that the frames at that time. 

Elsewhere in the room is a cabinet with Japanese lacquer panels, attributed to Adam Weisweiler, which dates from around 1790. 

Events & Exhibitions

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VIP Carriage Tour and Alfresco Dining Experience

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Celebrate your special occasion with a Woburn Carriage Tour and your choice of brunch, lunch or Duchess Anna Maria Afternoon Tea in the Park.
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Humphry Repton: Art & Nature for the Duke of Bedford

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Open to the public between 5th April and 1st September 2019, this exhibition explores the fascinating relationship between Repton and one of his greatest clients.
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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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Carriage Tours

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An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens of Woburn Abbey.
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Two Centuries of Afternoon Tea at Woburn Abbey

Join us at the home of afternoon tea for this fascinating illustrated talk, with full afternoon tea included, which covers how tea drinking was first introduced into England, how it was popularised and how afternoon tea became a social institution.
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Twilight Parkland Tour

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
Image for Twilight Parkland Tour

Twilight Parkland Tour

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
Image for Carriage Tours

Carriage Tours

and
An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens of Woburn Abbey.
Image for Two Centuries of Afternoon Tea at Woburn Abbey

Two Centuries of Afternoon Tea at Woburn Abbey

Join us at the home of afternoon tea for this fascinating illustrated talk, with full afternoon tea included, which covers how tea drinking was first introduced into England, how it was popularised and how afternoon tea became a social institution.
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Bat Walk

Take an exclusive evening tour and learn all about the species of bats living in Woburn Abbey Gardens. Then, using bat detectors, you will learn to listen and identify the echo location signals bats use to navigate and hunt.
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Woburn Abbey Honey Festival

Join us in a celebration of everything honey, set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey and Gardens.
Image for NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair Evening Champagne Shopping Event

NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair Evening Champagne Shopping Event

This exclusive evening Champagne shopping event will be hosted by Her Grace, The Duchess of Bedford. Browse over 50 stalls of inspiring gift ideas whilst enjoying a glass of Champagne and canapés.
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NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair

The NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair is an annual event and a highlight of the Woburn calendar.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2020

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Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey and within 42 acres of Abbey Gardens, "The Gardener’s Garden Show" offers one of the best locations of any show in the UK.