Image for The Hornbeam Maze The Hornbeam Maze

Maze or Labyrinth?

The 6th Duke of Bedford designed the Hornbeam Maze in 1831. The plaque over the entrance incorrectly states that this is a Labyrinth, as it is actually a maze. A maze is defined as a branching puzzle which has multiple paths and directions you can take. A labyrinth is defined as a puzzle that has only one non-branching path, which leads to the centre.

At the centre of the maze is The Chinese Pagoda which was built in 1833 and is based on a design by Sir William Chambers dated 1757.

The Hornbeam Maze is open all year round although it may close periodically for maintenance. Please check with admissions.

Image for The Hornbeam Maze The Hornbeam Maze Before Restoration Work

The Hornbeam Maze Restoration

The Woburn Abbey Hornbeam Maze was 6 feet high when restoration work started. The Gardens Team reduced it to 3 feet and 6 inches - a big shock to such an old hedge.

The hornbeam was allowed to fizz with re-growth and then, over 2 years, slowly clipped it back to form the maze you can see in the gardens today. This stage of the restoration work was completed in 2004, and now it is maintained to keep its current height. 

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