Pedometers are nothing new - the Duke of Bedford had one in 1835!

The pedometer instructions
The pedometer instructions
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Traditionally, January is the month with increased focus on getting fit and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

And it is nothing new as archivists at Woburn Abbey discovered recently. They found a receipt and instructions for a pedometor which was purchased by John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, back in 1835!

According to the receipt the Duke paid five guineas for the pedometer which in today’s money would be around £85.

The Duke purchased the health aid to use on his trips to The Doune, near Aviemore in the remote Scottish Highlands. The Doune was a simple yet substantial house leased by Duchess Georgiana from her friends, the Grants, in the 1820s.

The property was located near Loch an Eilein, the Caledonian forest, the River Spey and the Cairngorms where there were lots of long walks for the Duke to enjoy.

The receipt is accompanied by a set of instructions as to how the pedometer was operated.

> If you want to kick start your own health campaign, Woburn Abbey Gardens are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout winter - perfect for a healthy walk and some fresh air.