Harlaxton 2017: Field Trip to Bedford, Elstow, and the Houghton House

By: Morganne Williams

Today had a main focus on John Bunyan, who is most famously know for his religious allegory: The Pilgrim’s Progress. We started out in Bedford, in his old church. After we arrived, we first took a tour of the town, passing by his old house, a large statue of him (right), and the gaol (jail) where he was imprisoned in for 12 years. We then headed back to the church, where we discussed his life and works. Following that, we had another tour through the Bunyan Museum, and then we all headed out to the Ouse River.

Sitting on the bank of the river, we ate our lunch and were soon joined by small a paddling of ducks, gaggle of geese, and game of swans. Unable to resist the temptation, we began feeding them bits of our lunch, which caused the birds’ numbers to grow until they eventually outnumbered us. Luckily, they were kind creatures, and left us alone once they realized we had no more gifts to give.

Following lunch, we then drove through Elstow, Bunyan’s hometown, and then headed towards the Houghton House. The House is a 17th century mansion that is now in ruins, but is said to have been beautiful in its prime. So beautiful, in fact, that it gave Bunyan the inspiration for the ‘House Beautiful’ in The Pilgrim’s Progress. Determined to explore the place, we left no stone unturned; we scaled the walls and climbed through windows, trying to find the best nook to claim for ourselves. However, our adventures were cut short due to rain, so we headed back to the bus to avoid being drenched.

After our trip, we had a quiet evening preparing for both our quiz on Thursday and our final on Friday.