Lime Tree Walk at Ampthill
This small town began life over 1000 years ago as an Anglo Saxon settlement, called ' Aemethyll', literally meaning an ant infested hill. It is famous today for the Alameda, a handsome avenue of lime trees planted in the 1820s to imitate fine portuguese boulivards.
The many fine Georgian houses around Ampthill town centre, still remain to this day, thanks to the efforts of Professor Sir Albert Richardson (1880-1964). Sir Albert, who once lived in the l8th century 'Avenue House' was an architect and President of the Royal Academy from 1954-6, during which time he encouraged extensive restoration work on the older buildings in the town.
This extensive 300 acre park was once home to a 15th century castle (in the style of a palace or manor house), which fell into ruin in the 17th century. It was here that Henry VIII sent his first wife, Catharine of Aragon, while arranging the divorce that led to England's break with Rome. The park (now open to the public) was landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and contains a diverse range of flora and fauna and provides extensive views across the local countryside.