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Home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford, Woburn Abbey and Gardens are currently closed to facilitate a major refurbishment programme.  We look forward to welcoming you back to enjoy the Abbey and its surroundings in spring 2026 when this is completed.

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The essential components for pancake day: a good frying pan and a liberal amount of sugar!
Pancake Day is the day before the start of Lent, and traditionally is the last chance to use up eggs, butter and fat for those who observe a restricted Lenten diet.
Image 1: A mid to late 19th century copper frying pan from a large Batterie de Cuisine made for Woburn Abbey together with a silver sugar basin engraved with the Russell arms (from 1824) and a sugar sifter (19th century).
#OnThisDay in 1554 Lady Jane Grey, England’s shortest reigning monarch, was executed for high treason at the age of 17 years.
Following the death of her cousin Edward VI in 1553, Lady Jane Grey acceded to the throne. However, she reigned for just nine days as Mary Tudor had gathered enough support for her claim. Lady Jane Grey and her husband, Lord Dudley, were executed at Tower Hill the following year.
This painting in the Woburn Abbey Collection by Charles Robert Leslie was painted in 1827 and it imagines Lady Jane Grey, stood with her husband, being presented with the Crown. A portrait of Edward VI sits in the background watching the scene unfold, and the weight of their circumstance is prevalent. A portrait of John, 1st Earl of Bedford (d.1555) is included as one of the bearded figures kneeling on the left-hand side. The painting was commissioned by John, 6th Duke of Bedford (1766-1839), who was interested in visual representations of his ancestors’ role in history.
Image: The Crown offered to Lady Jane Grey by Charles Robert Leslie (1827)
#ArtHistory #Woburn #OnThisDayinHistory #LadyJaneGrey #woburnconnections
See here a detail from one of the richly carved stone Palladian fireplaces at Woburn Abbey in the course of being cleaned.

Centuries of sooty deposits are being gently removed to return the stone to its original colour at the centre of the image.

The chimneypieces were carved in the mid-1750’s for the 4th Duke of Bedford by sculptor and master mason John Deval (1701-1774).

#woburnabbey #restoration #fireplace #palladian #stonework #curator #englishcountryhouse #bts
February is the month of Carnival for many on the lead up to Lent. One of the most famous being the Venice Carnival, which this year’s theme is ‘Ad Oriente. The Amazing Journey of Marco Polo’, as this year marks the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s death.

One of the centerpieces of this year’s Carnival is ‘Terra Icongnita’ an extraordinary and thrilling water spectacle held in the Arsenale, telling the story of Polo’s journey to unknown lands.

The Arsenale itself has long been an exceptional sight, as the naval stronghold of the maritime republic it has been long been a symbol of their seafaring power and wealth. Despite this, it has been painted very few times. One such painting is that by Canaletto and is one of 24 views of Venice commissioned by Lord John Russell following his visit to Venice in 1731. The scene shows a bustle of activity with traders and fishermen on the canal and behind the bridge the masts of great ships can be seen. Above the gate on the left is the great winged lion of St Mark, the symbol of Venice.  #canaletto #venice #venicecarnival2024 #marcopolo
Just one of the interesting things found in the loft space at Woburn Abbey by our Project Archaeologist @tjc_heritage 
#bts #archaeology #restoration #curator #englishcountryhouse
History in the Making: Stories of materials and makers, 2000BC to now at Compton Verney

This exhibition brings together a treasure-trove of unique and fascinating objects including mid-17th century Mortlake tapestry, woven to a design by the great Italian Renaissance artist Raphael – on loan for the first time from the Woburn Abbey Collection and recent creations by some of the most exciting makers working today from the collection of the Crafts Council. By presenting the historic and contemporary side-by-side we explore changing attitudes towards materials over time, the importance of craft traditions for communities and the environmental impact of it.

Until Sunday 11th February 2024


#exhibition #tapestry #crafts #environment #curator #traditions #materials #textiles
#onthisday in 1559 Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey.

Here we take a look back to 2020 when the three Armada portraits of Elizabeth I were shown together for the first time in the 430-year history at the Queen’s House in Greenwich.

The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I is one of the most iconic portraits in British history.

Three versions of the painting survive, each offering a subtly different depiction of Queen Elizabeth I at the height of her power and can be seen at Queen’s House, National Portrait Gallery and at Woburn Abbey when we reopen.

#elizabethi #portrait #coronation @nationalportraitgallery @royalmuseumsgreenwich
This amazing scene was caught on camera in Woburn Deer Park. It is a true display of nature's power and beauty. 

📷 Jarek Modest

#woburndeerpark #woburndeer
#woburnabbey #woburndeerpark #woburndeer #photography #naturephotography #photooftheday
#bts House Manager, Simon, with the chandelier from the Ante-Library here at Woburn Abbey. The chandeliers were some of the last items to be deinstalled and removed from the Abbey before the works started.
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