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Woburn (Beds.). Woburn abbey came into the hands of the 1st earl of Bedford, along with Covent Garden and estates in Devon, at the dissolution of the monasteries. It was an early Cistercian foundation of 1145. Part of the present mansion dates from the 17th cent., but the west and south ranges are 18th cent., by Flitcroft and Henry Holland: one of the best rooms is the library, built by Holland in the 1790s. The park has a bridge by Chambers and was extensively redesigned by Repton. The dukes of Bedford were among the earliest noblemen to perceive the commercial potential of country houses and Woburn has a zoo and amusements.

J. A. Cannon

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