The park and gardens at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordsire, England, tell a fascinating story, and one that illuminates the history of English landscaping from the 16th century to the present dayDrawing on the enormous quantity of material available in the Woburn Archives, as well as the historic images and details preserved in the art in the Abbey itself, this book describes how the park and gardens developed, following wider trends in landscaping as well as the individual tastes of the successive dukes and duchesses. It also places the significant developments in the park and gardens in the context of the other gardens built at the time. Almost all of the important figures in English landscaping—from Isaac de Caus to George London and Henry Wise, Charles Bridgeman, and Humphry Repton—worked for the Bedford family at one time or another. In our own time, a 10-year program of restoration of Repton's Pleasure Gardens initiated by the present Duchess is under way. When this is finished, in 2018, the result will be the most complete Repton pleasure grounds anywhere in the world. In this book Keir Davidson weaves specific and wider themes together in a way that brings the whole enthralling story to life, engaging the reader with historic gardens that are not simply part of a lost past, but can be experienced today.
Author BiographyKeir Davidson is a landscape designer specializing in waterfalls of natural rock. He created gardens in Japan and then worked for 18 years in the United States, building a 250-acre private botanical garden in New York. For the past 16 years he has been associated with Woburn Abbey and the Bedford family, initially as a waterfalls designer and subsequently as a landscape historian.