Over 140,000 photos of England.
17,000+ Members
Click here to join the community
Pictures of England

Pictures of Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England

Pictures of Ampthill

a Historic Market Town in the county of Bedfordshire

A picture of the remains of Houghton house, in Ampthill, Bedfordshire

You can now buy stock photos of Ampthill - Click here

About Ampthill

The lovely town of Ampthill lies sheltered by hills in the sandstone belt of Bedfordshire. It is an historic place with roots stretching back into the mists of time. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, it translates 'ant heap' or ant hill. However, neither translation seems appropriate for such a picturesque, historic place.

A market charter was granted to the town by King Henry III in the 13th-century, and today the market held in Ampthill every Thursday, is a ively, colourful event attracting folk from miles around.

The town is famous for its connections with Royalty which began after the Battle of Agincourt in the 15th-century when Sir John Cornwall built a castle fit for his bride who was the sister of Henry IV. Later the castle was to become the home of tragic Katherine of Aragon, first of Henry VIII's six queens, and the woman he divorced for Anne Boleyn. It was whilst being kept prisoner at Ampthill Castle that Katherine heard the news of the divorce, she was later moved to Kimbolton. The castle fell into ruin during
the 17th-century, Charles II gave the surrounding land to the powerful Ashburnham family, who built the present house in 1694. The site of the castle is marked by a stately memorial cross, which bears Horace Walpole's dedication "to the mournful refuge of an injured Queen" inscribed at the base. Ampthill House remains private but the picturesque park with its many ancient oak trees is open to the public.

A walk around the village reveals an astounding number of architectural gems. There are houses ranging from the Tudor period, through to the 18th and 19th-century, as well as interesting conversions of the modern day. There are beautiful timber-frame thatched cottages, and memorable Georgian homes. The outstanding White Hart was once a former coaching inn. Over two hundred properties in the village are listed and preserved for their historic merit, these include 15th-century almshouses in Church Square.

The graceful church dedicated to St.Andrew dates 10th-century. It is an awe-inspiring structure, particularly notable for the stunning marble memorial commemorating the life of Colonel Richard Nicholls, whose family once owned Ampthill Park and who gave New York its name. He served with the Duke of York, and was given the task of capturing the Dutch Colonial City of New Amsterdam, Long Island. After attacking the Dutch with threats of destroying their fort, they quickly surrendered, thus the town was named for the Duke, and Nicholls became the first colonial governor of New York. Richard Nicholls was later killed in the Battle of Solway Bay in 1672, he was hit by a Dutch cannon ball.

Ampthill has literary connections, the writer John Bunyan was a frequent visitor to Houghton House, now naught but a romantic ruin. It was however believed to be the model upon which Bunyan based his novel, House Beautiful. Bunyan is mostly remembered for his preaching and for Pilgrims Progress, there is a statue of him in Bedford. Houghton House, although a ruin is cared for as an ancient monument by English Heritage, the staircase in the house was said to be the work of Sir Christopher Wren.

The town is surrounded by spacious countryside, where there are several wildlife country parks, and plenty of places of historic interest. Maulden Wood, an ancient woodland lies to the north-east of the town and offers pleasant walks with pretty picnic areas.

Visitors to the town will find pleasing shops, welcoming inns and a friendly atmosphere.

Planning a visit to Ampthill?
Please support the Pictures of England website by booking your Ampthill hotels & accommodation through this site.

Add town to favourites

Recommended towns & villages near Ampthill

Woburn Deer Park, Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire. August 2006


(6.1 miles, 9.8 km, direction SW)

The picturesque village of Woburn has an mixture of delightful old cottages and the magnificent Woburn Abbey...

Information | Pictures (39) | Hotels | Holiday Cottages

The great Ouse in Bedford, July 2003


(7.3 miles, 11.7 km, direction N)

Bedford is the historic County town of Bedfordshire with a beautiful riverside setting on the great River Ouse. John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's has strong associations with this town...

Information | Pictures (67) | Hotels | Holiday Cottages

Chocolate Box

Old Warden

(7.4 miles, 11.9 km, direction NE)

Old Warden is a sleepy Bedfordshire village with pretty honey-coloured thatched cottages and a wealth of other interesting buildings...

Information | Pictures (23) | Hotels | Holiday Cottages

Hitchin, Hertfordshire


(10.7 miles, 17.2 km, direction SE)


Information | Pictures (51) | Hotels | Holiday Cottages

Bradwell Mill

Milton Keynes

(11.1 miles, 17.9 km, direction W)

Of interest to visitors to the town is Milton Keynes Museum, this preserves the history of the town and its area from the early 19th century through to the present day...

Information | Pictures (46) | Hotels | Holiday Cottages

All towns in Bedfordshire
Complete A to Z of towns in England

Recommended attractions near Ampthill

A picture of the remains of Houghton house, Bedfordshire

Houghton House

(0.8 miles, 1.3 km)

Houghton House is a 3 story stately home built by Lady Pembroke in 1621. Houghton is reputedly the model for "House Beautiful" in.....

Information | Pictures (24) | Hotels

No picture available

Maulden Wood

(3.6 miles, 5.8 km, direction E)

Maulden Wood is an attractive mix of semi-natural broadleaf woodland, acidic grassland and conifer plantations. A waymarked walk.....

Information | Hotels

Wrest Park House and Gardens

Wrest Park House and Gardens

(4.0 miles, 6.4 km, direction SE)

Wrest Park House was once the home of the de Grey family whose Mausoleum is at nearby Flitton. The gardens form a charming.....

Information | Pictures (33) | Hotels

Cainhoe Castle, Clophill, Bedfordshire.

Cainhoe Castle

(4.0 miles, 6.5 km, direction E)

The remains of a late 11th or early 12th century motte and bailey castle with three baileys. Cainhoe castle was probably occupied.....

Information | Pictures (2) | Hotels


Woburn Safari Park

(4.7 miles, 7.6 km, direction SW)


Information | Pictures (39) | Hotels

All attractions in Ampthill
All attractions in Bedfordshire
Complete A to Z of attractions in England

Hotels & Accommodation in Ampthill

Ampthill Hotels  Ampthill Cottages  Ampthill Bed & Breakfast

The Knife & Cleaver in Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire, England4 stars

The Knife & Cleaver

Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire, England (2.2 miles, 3.5 km, direction N)
Opposite a Grade I listed church, The Knife & Cleaver is a AA 4 Gold Star award winning guest house....
More info and book online..  Price from £89.00

Menzies Hotels Woburn - Flitwick Manor in Flitwick, Bedfordshire, England4 stars

Menzies Hotels Woburn - Flitwick Manor

Flitwick, Bedfordshire, England (2.4 miles, 3.9 km, direction S)
Nestled amid the tranquillity of acres of rolling gardens and parkland, this classical Georgian house aims to continue its ancestral traditions of hospitality throughout its 18 individually furnished ...
More info and book online..  Price from £124.00

Premier Inn Bedford South (A421) in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England3 stars

Premier Inn Bedford South (A421)

Bedford, Bedfordshire, England (4.8 miles, 7.8 km, direction N)
Premier Inn Bedford South (A421) is set just of the Marsh Leys junction of the A421, near Kempston. It offers free parking and a Brewers Fayre Restaurant, only 7 miles from the M1 and 3 miles from Bed...
More info and book online..  Price from £59.00

Beadlow Manor Hotel in Shefford, Bedfordshire, England

Beadlow Manor Hotel

Shefford, Bedfordshire, England (5.0 miles, 8.1 km, direction E)
Set in the Bedfordshire countryside, Beadlow Manor Hotel offers refurbished en suite rooms and two 18-hole golf courses. There is a bar and free private parking on site. Rooms are serviced from the G...
More info and book online..  Price from £39.00

Holiday Inn Express Bedford in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England2 stars

Holiday Inn Express Bedford

Bedford, Bedfordshire, England (5.2 miles, 8.4 km, direction N)
Located just south of Bedford, this Holiday Inn Express is a short drive from the A1 and M1. It offers comfortable and affordable accommodation and free parking....
More info and book online..  Price from £47.00

All Accommodation in Ampthill..

Ampthill Reviews

See all Ampthill reviews..

Please login to make a review

Nearby travel help

Flitwick Station(1.6 miles, 2.6 km, direction S)
Millbrook (Bedfordshire) Station(2.2 miles, 3.6 km, direction NW)
M1 Junction 13(4.6 miles, 7.4 km, direction W)
M1 Junction 12(5.2 miles, 8.4 km, direction S)
London Luton Airport(12.0 miles, 19.3 km, direction SE)
Cambridge Airport(31.0 miles, 49.9 km, direction NE)
Ampthill to London(39.5 miles, 63.5 km, direction SE)

Member created tours

Milton Abbas,Dorset.
Autumn in Milton Abbas
by Graham Rains

Red sunset
by Parabel

Sponsored Links