There are two villages close to Aspley Guise. One is Woburn Sands which boasts a population of around 2,000 people. The other is the much smaller village of Woburn which has, as its close neigbour, the Duke of Bedford’s estate and home, Woburn Abbey.
Of the two villages Woburn seems the more historically significant. According to our friends at Wikipedia:
“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 bequeathed to the first Earl of Bedford in 1538 after the dissolution of the monasteries, and Woburn Safari Park.
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.”
I posted photos of Woburn Abbey in April last year soon after we arrived in the UK. But I have never spent much time in the village of Woburn itself.
Today I set out to remedy that and in sunny (but freezing) conditions I spent an hour or so wandering around the village photographing the buildings, the features and the little things that appealed to me. After an hour, the cold meant I had lost feeling in my hands and operating the camera became impossible. This was remedied by a visit to the warm and friendly “Longs Inn” for a quick pint.
Woburn and the nearby Abbey are major tourist attractions, particularly during the summer – funny that. For us, Woburn’s main attraction is the aforementioned Longs Inn – a traditional old pub established in 1649 which has become our favourite local watering hole. With its inviting fire, low ceiling and endless supply of Adnam’s ale, spending time within its cosy confines is easy.