Sunday, 27 January 2013

Visiting the House of Horror

When we went to bed last night there was still two inches of snow covering everything. When we woke this morning it had all magically vanished and the sun had come out. The Madwoman decreed that we therefore ought to go for yet another of her interminable educational strolls, so we went to Hampden. Hiding under all that scaffolding is Hampden House, which is pretty ancient under all the 18th century stuff.  It was at one time the family seat of John Hampden, who took up arms against the King during the English Civil War. His pistol exploded in his hand while fighting the famous dog lover Prince Rupert at Chalgrave Field in 1643, and he died 3 weeks later. We have no idea whether Hampden was a dog lover too. Later on, the house became a girls boarding school - the Madwoman used to teach some of them riding. When it closed in 1978, Hammer took it over and made 22 films there - the Madwoman shudders as says she can remember Hammer House of Horror all too well, although whether she's referring to the boarding school or the films is unclear. 
Just across from Hampden House is the church, St Mary Magdalene. It dates back to Saxon times and John Hampden is buried there, although no one knows precisely where. Quite appropriately, the church also made a guest appearance in the film Cromwell, alongside Richard Harris.

And here's another view of the church, although a less attractive one as we aren't in it.

Oh, and if you want to find out more about Hampden House try clicking HERE



Susan Price said...

Two minutes silence for John Hampden, please, dog-lover or not.

Rupert from the Rhine might have been a dog-lover, but he was on the wrong side.

'Divine right of kings' my &@£%!

madwippitt said...

While the Madwoman sides in principle with John Hampden and his cousin the warty Old Noll, she does also admire Rupert who was an extraordinary person: soldier, artist, scientist, and accomplished at all of them. And of course, most importantly of all, a dog lover. He didn't really have much choice in the side he took: Charles was family, after all, as well as a fellow dog lover.

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