Geographical and Historical information from the year 1750.
[Transcribed information from Stephen Whatley's Gazetteer of England - 1750]
(unless otherwise stated)
"WOBURN, (Bedfordshire) 37 cm. 44 mm. from London, is of chief note for the palace of the D. of Bedford near it, where stood the abbey founded in 1145, which was granted at the Diss. by Henry VIII. to John Russel, (ancestor to the present most noble D.) whom he also created Baron Russel. On the 19th of June 1724, above 100 of its houses were burnt down, which are since neatly rebuilt, and a fine Mt.-place, finished in Feb. 1737, at the D. of Bedford's sole expence, to whom almost all the T. bel. The Mt. is on F. which is chiefly for butter and cheese. Fairs March 12 and 26, July 2, and September 14. Here is a fr. sc. founded by Francis Earl of Bedford, and a ch. sc. for 30 boys and 15 girls, (who are both cloathed and taught) founded and endowed by Wriothesley late D. of Bedford, and his Dss. In and near this place is dug great store of fullers-earth, from hence called Woburn-earth, so useful in the cloathing trade, that the exportation of it has been strictly forbidden. This T. is also famous for jockey-caps. The D's. house is pleasantly situate in a fine large park, walled round. It has many noble rooms in it, particularly a long gallery, furnished with a great variety of fine pictures, chiefly of the Russel family, and strewed, as it were, with gilded stars in the wainscoting, which have a pretty effect among the pictures. Before the house is a very large bason of water, on which is a most beautiful yatcht, curiously carved and gilt, of bet. 30 and 40 tons burden, and 10 guns, which are fired when his grace gives any entertainments on board her. Here are also a neat pleasure-boat, wherry, and skiff. In the park are above 500 acres of tall woods, and his grace is planting new trees every year, especially of fir. Through the woods are many gravel-roads, where people may walk or ride to any part of the park, in the wettest weather, without meeting any dirt. On the N. side of the park there is a plantation of evergreens, near 2 m. long, where, in the depth of winter, his grace can ride in shelter, and through a perpetual verdure. At the end of this there is another noble piece of water, with an island and a Chinese building on it, where in summer his grace often dines with company; and on one side of this water, in sight of the building, there are high hills, that are planted theatrically with evergreens."
[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2011]