In 2014, Woburn Abbey is going to host two temporary exhibitions, with admission included in tickets to the abbey. Visitors to the extensive house and gardens near Milton Keynes can always take advantage of guided tours tailored to the specific interests of a group and these special exhibitions offer a chance to go deeper into some key topics relevant to the property.
Valiant Hearts, marking the centenary of World War I, will explore the roles played by The Duke and Duchess of Bedford, Woburn Abbey and the people from the surrounding area. The exhibition will follow the journey of the soldiers who were trained in a garrison established by the Duke at nearby Ampthill. Visitors can examine personal correspondence between the Duke and the soldiers he supported, and see replica artefacts from a military hospital from the period. The Duchess set up one of the most advanced hospitals of the time at Woburn Abbey, which went on to treat over 2,000 injured soldiers.
Peeling Back The Years is going to examine the use of Chinese wallpaper within the house and stately homes throughout England. Groups will be able to discover the history of a particular room through its layers of wallpaper. From the exquisitely decorative paper used in the 4th Duke of Bedford’s private bedroom in the 18th century, to the more utilitarian wallpapers used when it became an office for household staff, the exhibition will include a number of recent discoveries. A trail of the Chinese decorative features will show visitors how this style was used throughout the house and gardens.
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