Houghton House was built in the 17th century as an elaborate hunting lodge for Mary Herbert, the Dowager Countess of Pembroke, a well-connected member of the royal court. After Mary Herbert’s death, the estate was granted by the king to the Bruce family but it was eventually purchased by the Dukes of Bedford. The fifth Duke of Bedford rented the hunting park to a neighbour. He was subsequently unable to let the house without the park, so he ordered Houghton to be dismantled in 1794. Some of the fittings were used in new building projects.
Houghton House was reputedly the inspiration for the 'House Beautiful' in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.. It is now an English Heritage property which is free to visit. The house is about 6 miles or so from where we live and we have driven past the entrance so many times without knowing it was there. We're glad that today we found it.
The purpose for our visit to Houghton House was to do a geocache but as there were so many people around we didn't look for the cache so I think another visit some time will be in order.
Before going to Houghton House we went to Maulden Woods though to hunt for two other caches.