Image for The Chinese Dairy A View of The Chinese Dairy Today

The Chinoiserie Style

The Chinese Dairy was designed by Henry Holland in the Chinoiserie style in 1787 for Francis, 5th Duke of Bedford. Sir William Chambers’ pattern book ‘designs’ was published in 1785 and developed the Chinese style, known as Chinoiserie. It was from this source that Holland derived much of the detail for the dairy. The Duke wished to create an appropriate setting for his collection of oriental porcelain, dishes and plates.

The Dairy was originally joined to the house by a covered walkway, part of which you can still see today. The Chinese trees continue the theme from the Dairy into the Garden and the windows were painted with Chinese characters and botanical specimens by Theodore Perrache. The fish in the pond are mainly species of carp and records show it was a regular occurrence for the 6th Duke to feed the fish each morning at 6.00am.


Image for The Chinese Dairy The Chinese Dairy Under Reconstruction

Chinese Dairy Restoration

The Chinese Dairy was built in 1794 and restored in 2004. The pond is 12ft deep at the centre and was drained to a depth of 6ft during the reconstruction phase so that the koi fish did not have to be removed. All planting around the pond is new except for 3 original trees.

The planting includes a Eucommia (Eucommia ulmoides), a small tree native to China. It is "near threatened" in the wild, but is widely cultivated in China for its bark as it is highly valued in herbology, especially traditional Chinese medicine. If a leaf is torn across, strands of latex exuded from the leaf veins solidify into rubber.

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Events & Exhibitions

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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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Adam Frost: Introduction to Planting

This Study Day is now fully booked, please have a look at some of our other events.
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Spring Pruning Study Day

This session is designed to give you a wide range of pruning skills - you will get hands on with plant material in order to gain confidence in your own garden maintenance.
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Spring and Easter Flower Celebration with Jonathan Moseley

Celebrate the arrival of spring with this masterclass in spring flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
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Humphry Repton Study Day

Immerse yourself in the life and work of the last great landscape designer of the 18th century.
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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.
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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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Summer Flowers Sensation with Jonathan Moseley

Celebrate the wealth of opportunities summer offers for growing and arranging flowers with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
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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.
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VIP Garden Show package Saturday 22nd June

We invite you to enjoy a very special day out at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show with our exclusive VIP packages.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2019

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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.
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VIP Garden Show package Sunday 23rd June

We invite you to enjoy a very special day out at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show with our exclusive VIP packages.
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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 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.
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Bee Walk

Discover the importance of attracting bees to your garden and, more importantly, how to attract them.
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 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 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.