Woburn, Bedfordshire

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Woburn
Woburn ParishChurch1.JPG
St. Mary's parish church in Woburn
Woburn is located in Bedfordshire
Woburn
Woburn
 Woburn shown within Bedfordshire
Population 933 (2011)
OS grid reference SP949331
Civil parish Woburn
Unitary authority Central Bedfordshire
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MILTON KEYNES
Postcode district MK17
Dialling code 01525
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Mid Bedfordshire
List of places
UK
England
Bedfordshire

Coordinates: 51°59′18″N 0°37′10″W / 51.98826°N 0.61942°W / 51.98826; -0.61942

Woburn (pronounced /'wəubn/ and meaning twisted or crooked stream)[1] is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England. It is situated about 5 miles (8.0 km) southeast of the centre of Milton Keynes, and about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of junction 13 of the M1 motorway and is a tourist attraction. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 933.[2]

History[edit]

Woburn was first recorded as a hamlet in 969 and is found in the Domesday Book of 1086. It is best known as the location of Woburn Abbey (a stately home), founded by Cistercian monks in 1145 and granted to the first Earl of Bedford in 1538 after the dissolution of the monasteries, and Woburn Safari Park. The village may have been called "Woburne Chapell" in Medieval times, in order to distinguish it from the abbey.[3] Woburn has been burned down and rebuilt three times. A mediaeval chimney fire spread due to the prevalence of thatched roofs and closely built houses. Then, during the English Civil War, the Cavaliers burned down much of the village and in 1724 a third fire destroyed much of the town, which was re-built in the Georgian style that remains today.[4]

During the nineteenth century, Woburn was an important staging post on a nationwide coaching network. The town had 27 inns and the first 24 hour post office outside of London. However, with Woburn Sands and not Woburn being selected for a railway station, Woburn's importance attached to its strategic location decreased. The population fell from 2,100 in 1851 to 700 about a century later.

Modern Woburn[edit]

Woburn is a residential village and tourist attraction. Aside from Woburn Abbey and Woburn Safari Park, tourists visit Woburn's Georgian centre and the Woburn Heritage Centre local history museum. Woburn hosts a popular Village Festival around the last weekend in August every year attracting thousands of visitors. Every April the local art gallery also organises 'Art Beat' for the promotion of local original art.[5] Facilities for residents include a heated outdoor swimming pool open in the summer months, the Village Hall, St. Mary's Church and Woburn Lower School. Woburn also has a monthly Farmers' Market on the third Sunday of the month organised by the Village Traders.

Tiger Moth airplane rallies continue at Woburn Abbey with the 2013 rally seeing over 80 vintage and classic aircraft in the air above the stately home.[6][7] Woburn Abbey has also played host to many outdoor live music concerts including Dire Straits, Elton John and Neil Diamond. In July 2007 the Abbey hosted the three day Woburn Live concert featuring Classic FM Live, Van Morrison and Ronnie Scott's Big Band on three consecutive evenings. Woburn was chosen by Center Parcs as the named location for its fifth holiday village at a cost of £250 million. The actual location is 7 miles (11 km) away between Millbrook and Steppingley; Center Parcs Woburn Forest sits on an ancient wood called Millbrook Warren. It opened to guests in spring 2014.

Sports and Leisure Facilities[edit]

Apart from the new Centerparcs, Woburn boasts its own Lido.[8] In addition to the good walks and cycling opportunities afforded by the Estate and the local roads, Woburn lies across the routes of both the Greensand Ridge Walk and the Greensand Cycle Way.

References[edit]

External links[edit]