Woburn to open historic feature at revamped garden show
Bedfordshire’s Woburn Abbey is continuing its quest to recreate lost features of its illustrious historic past with the opening of a new structure.
The Aviary is part of a feature masterminded by 18th century garden designer Humphry Repton, who envisioned a menagerie of animals and birds for the 6th Duke of Bedford as a feature of a new Pleasure Garden. Although never built, the design was depicted in a unique work in 1805, Hortus Woburnensis, which the current Duke and Duchess and Woburn staff are using to guide construction.
The main octagonal aviary was built in 2011, but two roofed barns have now been added to represent the animal manager’s cottages of the original. The cone house, which would have formed the entrance to the menagerie, sports the façade of a Doric temple. The notion for a menagerie eventually became the catalyst for the estate’s Safari Park. “It’s a privilege to recreate the most complete Repton landscape in the UK,” said estates garden manager Martin Towsey.
The garden has recreated a number of Repton features, including a rose garden and an Oriental rockery pavilion. The new structures will be opened by the Duchess on Sunday, June 24, the second day of the Woburn Garden Show (see right).
presenter Adam Frost will star at this year’s Woburn Abbey Show