A slightly different post than normal today, nothing to do with minis or wargaming and whilst I've featured my visits to historic sites before they've always had a military link to some sort, which then of course links into the wargaming. Todays site is an impressive ruin of an old stately home.
Up on the hill behind the village where I live there is a ruined house, it dominates the ridge and commands excellent views over the Marston Vale in central Bedfordshire. It is also an excellent walk from my house through hay meadows and an ancient woodland that takes about an hour, which is just about right for an afternoon stroll. The ruins are in the care of English Heritage and are freely accessible in the hours of daylight. I took a walk up there last week, and was quite pleased with the photos that I managed to come back with.
A brief history then; Houghton House was built in 1615 for the Countess of Pembroke Mary Sidney, after her death it passed to the Earls of Elgin and then in 1738 to the Dukes of Bedford who used it as a hunting lodge until around 1800 when they stripped the house of its furnishings and roof and left it to decay. It's claim to fame is as inpsiration for the 'House Beautiful' at the top of the 'Hill Difficulty' in John Bunyan's once popular christian allegory 'the Pilgrims Progress'.