Monday, 18 June 2018

Houghton House - Bedfordshire

We rarely detour anywhere to take in ruins, but sometimes the history of a place makes the journey worthwhile.

The Historic Houses Association tells us that Houghton House was built in the early 17th century by Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke. It was intended as a hunting lodge. The design was neither one thing nor the other as it included both Jacobean and Classical features.

It lasted as a dwelling for close to 200 years, and is believed to be the inspiration for the ‘Palace Beautiful’ in the John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim's Progress.

It was dismantled in 1797, but rather than simply razing it to the ground, is was decided to keep the shell as attractive ruins and these were featured as part of the Ampthill Park.

MK45 2EZ

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