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Woburn Abbey


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In 1574, King Edward VI confiscated the land owned by the Cistercian monastery and granted it to John Russell, the first Earl of Bedford for services to the crown. The abbey itself is an 18th-century mansion although the houses history began in 1145, when Hugh deBolebec built an abbey here for Cistercian monks. Some of the old stone had been incorporated into the foundations of the mansion. It had been home to the Dukes and Earls since 1627 when Francis, succeeding his cousin as Fourth Earl, decided to build on the remains of the Cistercian abbey. In 1747 the house was partially reconstructed and extended by the Palladian architect Henry Flitcroft (in 1747-61) who built Woburn Abbey into most of what is visible today. The house contains one of the most important private collections of furniture, porcelain, silver and paintings, by many famous craftsmen and artists, including Claude, Cuyp, Gainsborough, Murillo, Rembrandt, Reynolds and Deniers. In one room of the Private Apartments, there are 21 paintings of Venice by Antonio Canale (Canaletto).

17th Aug 2006 by Diane Earl

Art and Design, Geography, History

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Abbey Palladian Woburn Duke House Home

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