|Kellys Directory of Woburn 1839
WOBURN, WITH THE VILLAGES OF ASPLEY GUISE, HUSBORN CRAWLEY, MILTON BRYANT, RIDGMONT AND NEIGHBOURHOODS.
WOBURN, spelled by Leland, in his 'Itinerary, 'Owbourn', is a handsome market town in the hundred of Manshead, 42 miles from London, 24 S.E. from Northampton, and about 6 miles from the Leighton Buzzard station, on the line of the London and Birmingham railway. This place, in the year 1724, was nearly destroyed by fire; but this unfortunate circumstance, though distressing to individuals, ultimately proved beneficial, as the houses were soon after rebuilt in a more regular and tasteful style. The market house, standing in the centre of the town, was much improved by Francis Duke of Bedford. The head of the house of Russell is lord of the manor, and as such holds courts annually, or oftener, as occasion may require, when petty constables are chosen, who are the only peace officers. Petty sessions for the hundred are held here every fortnight. The manufactures of Woburn are lace and straw plat; an extensive trade is also carried on in corn, timber, &c.; and in the immediate neighbourhood are considerable pits of that useful article, fullers' earth. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a neat, convenient and handsome structure its ivy-clothed walls presenting a venerable appearance; the tower, which formerly stood detached from the main building, is now united to it, and the Duke of Bedford has surmounted it with a beautiful spire: the benefice is a perpetual curacy, the duke being patron and impropriator, and the Rev. Hutton the present incumbent. The church contains a curious monument to the Stanton family, consisting of twelve figures in the attitude of prayer, besides several other ancient sepulchral memorials: the Duke of Bedford ornamented the church with a fine altar-piece, representing the Nativity. The other establishments for religious worship, instruction and benevolence are, a meeting house for the independents, one for the Wesleyan methodists, a Lancasterian school, a free school for girls, and twelve alms-houses for poor persons; these charitable institutions are mainly supported by the munificence of his Grace of Bedford. The chief object of attraction, in the vicinity of the town, is Woburn Abbey and park, the splendid seat of the noble family of Russell: it occupies the site of a Cistercian abbey, founded in 1145 by Hugh de Bolbeck, the revenue of which, at the dissolution, was valued at upwards of £400.; the site, with a great portion of the lands, was granted by Edward VI, in 1574, to Lord John Russell. The park comes close to the town, and, being generously open to the public, affords to the inhabitants delightful walks, amidst scenery remarkably beautiful and diversified. But, besides the visual banquet to be enjoyed in these grounds, the industrious poor never fail obtaining one more substantial upon application at the mansion, where work, also, of some kind, is sure to be provided for them. WOBURN HOUSE was almost wholly rebuilt by Flitcroft, for John Duke of Bedford, about the middle of the last century. This extensive and magnificent building, situate in the midst of a park of noble magnitude, occupies four sides of a quadrangle: the west front is of the Ionic order, with an insulated basement; the principal floor, or suite of rooms on this side, consists of a saloon, state bed room, and drawing and dining rooms; the south comprises the library, breakfast, Etruscan and duke's rooms; the east, the vestibule, servants' offices, &c.; the north includes the French bed rooms, and various other chambers. The state apartments are fitted up in a style of superior splendour; the gallery exhibits a large and most interesting collection of portraits, whilst numerous other valuable paintings are dispersed in other rooms. In the sculpture gallery is the beautiful antique vase brought to this country by Lord Camdeu; and an ancient sarcophagus of marble, conveyed hither from Ephesus. This princely mansion has received many improvements and undergone considerable alterations, particularly under the late Duke of Bedford; the additional buildings were designed and executed by Mr. Holland, the architect of Drury-lane theatre. The park is about twelve miles in circumference, surrounded by a wall; it comprises a pleasing variety of hill and dale, and is enriched with peculiarly fine woods of majestic oaks - the whole refreshed and beautified by extensive sheets of transparent waters, which reflect the scenery at various striking points. Winding through the woods, the visitor arrives at the dutchess's shrubbery, beautifully laid out in the modem taste; leaving which, and riding over the hill, which commands an enchanting and comprehensive prospect, he comes to the evergreen plantation, of about two hundred acres - a charming ride, on a fine dry soil, through avenues of all varieties of evergreens, of luxuriant growth, so that the equestrian is sheltered, in the depth of winter, by a continuous canopy of verdure. About the middle of this plantation is a handsome temple, retired, and soothingly pleasing to the contemplative: at the termination is 'the lower water,' with an island in the centre, upon which is a very elegant and light Chinese temple. Queen Elizabeth made a journey to this seat in 1572; and when Charles I visited Woburn in I645, notwithstanding that the Earl of Bedford sided with the parliament, the monarch reposed securely at the abbey. The market day at this town is Friday; fairs are held on the 1st of January, the 23rd of March, the 13th of July and 25th September. The parish of Woburn contained, in 1831, 1,827 inhabitants; the number now, probably, is about 2,000.
ASPLEY GUISE is a village and parish in the same hundred as Woburn, pleasantly situated two miles north of that town. Anselm de Guise, in 1267, obtained a charter for a market to be held here on Friday, and a fair at the tide of St. Botolph - both of which have been discontinued. The church, dedicated to St. Botolph, contains several monuments of antiquity and interest: the living is a rectory, in the gift of the Duke of Bedford; the Rev. Thomas Fanner is the present incumbent. The parish contains about 1,000 inhabitants.
HUSBORN CRAWLEY, an adjoining parish to Aspley Guise, is about two miles and a half N.E. from Woburn. The church, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, occupies an elevated site, and has a lofty tower. A handsome canopied monument, with the figures of an armed knight and his lady, is in the church. The benefice is a discharged vicarage, in the presentation of the Duke of Bedford. Population of the parish 680.
MILTON BRYANT is a small village, about two miles S.E. from Woburn, situated a little to the north of the road to London. The church is dedicated to St. Peter; the living is a rectory, in the gift of the crown; the Rev. William Mansfield is the minister. Population 373.
RIDGMONT village and parish is in the hundred of Redbornestoke, about three miles N.E. from Woburn. In old records it is written Rugemont - i.e, the 'Red Hill,' applicable to its situation and the colour of the soil. The church, dedicated to All Saints, has within these few years received an addition of sittings, at the expense of the society for enlarging churches; the benefice is a discharged vicarage, united with Segenhoe. There is a place of worship here for baptists. The parish, including the village, contains about 1,000 inhabitants.
POST-OFFICE, Bedford-street, WOBURN, Stephen Dodd, Post Master. Letters from LONDON arrive every night at half-past twelve, and are despatched every morning at two. Letters from BEDFORD arrive (by mail cart) every night at a quarter-past eleven, and are despatched every morning at four.
NOBILITY, GENTRY AND CLERGY
ACADEMIES & SCHOOLS
AGENTS - LAND, &c
BOOKSELLERS & STATIONERS
BOOT & SHOE MAKERS
CABINET MAKER AND UPHOLSTERER
CARPENTERS AND JOINERS
CHINA & EARTHENWARE DEALERS
CHYMISTS & DRUGGISTS
FIRE, &c. OFFICE AGENTS
GROCERS & TEA DEALERS
HAIR DRESSERS AND PERFUMERS
LACE MANUFACTURERS & DEALERS
LINEN & WOOLLEN DRAPERS
MILLINERS & DRESS MAKERS
PLUMBERS, PAINTERS AND GLAZIERS
SADDLERS AND HARNESS MAKERS
SHOPKEEPERS &DEALERS IN GROCERIES & SUNDRIES
STRAW HAT MANUFACTURES
TAVERNS & PUBLIC HOUSES
WATCH & CLOCK MAKERS