Humphry Repton Study Day

Immerse yourself in the life and work of the last great landscape designer of the 18th century. Join our Humphry Repton Study Day and celebrate Repton’s designs in our garden - his most complete landscape in the world.

When the 6th Duke of Bedford inherited Woburn in 1802, he commissioned the famous landscape gardener, Humphry Repton (1752-1818), to create designs to enhance the gardens and parkland. His ideas were written and illustrated in his ‘Red Book’ of 1805. With the Duke being Repton’s most important client, at a time of declining commissions, the Woburn Red Book is one of his largest works.

On this study day, take an in-depth look at Humphry Repton’s career, what made him such a remarkable and visionary landscape gardener, his techniques and processes and the creations he conceived. Woburn’s Red Book and Woburn Abbey’s archived journals and account books from 1805 to 1810 will give firsthand accounts of Repton’s methods and ingenuity. An exploratory guided walk through the gardens and tractor-trailer tour of the deer park will reveal how Repton’s designs were implemented, how they have fared throughout the centuries and the restoration and recreation projects happening today.

  • Learn about Repton the man and his work from the study day’s presenter Keir Davison, landscape historian, writer, and author of Woburn Abbey, The Park and Gardens.
  • Visit The Abbey where the priceless Woburn Abbey ‘Red Book’ will be on display as part of our Repton exhibition.
  • Take a private tour of the Gardens with Award-winning Custodian Martin Towsey, Estates Gardens Manager.
  • Appreciate and see Repton’s designs in the deer park from our covered tractor-trailer.

As Repton wrote himself in 1816: “The Improvements I have had the honour to suggest have nowhere been so fully realised as at Woburn Abbey.”

Study Day Itinerary

  • Tea and coffee on arrival at 10.00am, starts at 10.30am
  • Morning lecture: Landscapes of the Imagination; the art and gardens of Humphry Repton (1752 - 1818)
  • Viewing of The Red Book - this large leather bound tome of Repton’s original watercolours shows his imaginative designs for Woburn
  • 2-course lunch at The Woburn Hotel
  • Guided walk through Woburn Abbey Gardens with Keir Davidson and Estate Gardens Manager, Martin Towsey, followed by a tractor-trailer ride through the deer park looking at Repton’s wider landscape
  • Keir Davidson book signing of Woburn Abbey The Park & Gardens 
  • Departure 6.00pm

£85.00 per person including two-course lunch. To book your ticket, please use the button below.

If you have any questions please email or contact us on 01525 290333. Please contact us no later than 7 days before the event if you have any special dietary requirements.

Please use our event entrance, click here for a map.

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