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  1. #1
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    Dec 2008
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    Arrow Houghton House - Ruins, Ampthill Beds. ARCHIVED

    Whilst out exploring WW2 pill boxes in the area. I came across this out of the way place, purely by chance. Expecting a well looked after Stately Home! Located down a 1 mile track and then a 10 minute walk on foot to the tree lined approaches to the House. The ruins came into view. Not really UE stuff as such but any ruined building comes into that catagory, I suppose, especially since its been abandoned since 1794

    A Bit of History on the place.

    Houghton House

    Houghton House, not to be confused with Hoghton Towers, is a three-story stately home built by Lady Pembroke, sister of Sir Philip Sidney in 1621. The architect is presumed to be John Thorpe.

    Houghton is reputedly the model for "House Beautiful" in John Bunyan's masterpiece, Pilgrim's Progress. Given that Bunyan was a Bedfordshire native and used many real Bedfordshire locations in his work, this association seems probable.

    Incorporated into a grand frieze on the western front of Houghton are the heraldic devices of the Sidney and Dudley families. This frieze, one of the first examples of the emerging Jacobean style in Britain, may haver been the work of Inigo Jones. Jones is also thought to be responsible for the pine-pannelled Haynes Grange Room, now exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

    Lady Pembroke did not enjoy Houghton House for long. She died in 1624 and the property passed to the Bruce family, who held it until 1738 when it was sold to the Russell's, Dukes of Bedford (see Woburn Abbey).

    In 1794 the then Duke stripped Houghton of its furnishings and removed the roof. The 1688 staircase from Houghton, possibly the work of Christopher Wren, is now at the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Houghton is now a ruin, administered as an ancient monument by English Heritage.

    Houghton House in its Heyday, circa 1600's.

    Rear view of the House today. Compare it with the painting above.

    Remains of the side tower. Compare it with the painting above.

    Some real old graffiti adorns the walls & columns of the house. A real exploration by original 1800's Urban Explorers

    The front entrance to the House.

    Admission is free and you can get some real good photo opportunity's around the interior of the house with the right light.

    Further pics can be seen here:
    Last edited by boxfrenzy; 07-02-2010 at 08:45 AM.
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