Alameda and the Cenotaph
The Alameda Gate (Grade II listed building within the Ampthill Conservation Area) serves as the formal entrance to the Alameda, a double tree-lined avenue of lime trees. The trees were planted in the early 1820s and were gifted to the town in 1827 by Henry Fox, the 3rd Lord (Baron) Holland (1773-1840), who on the death of the 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory in 1818 made Ampthill Park his seat (his mother, Lady Holland, was the daughter of the 1st Earl of Upper Ossory). A substantial brick screen with iron gates was provided at the start of the walk. However, this was in 1882 taken down by the Duke of Bedford who was by then the owner of the Ampthill Park estate (the iron gates were presented to Bedford School where they were re-erected and stand to this day).
In 1921 came the unveiling and dedication of the Cenotaph erected at the end of the Alameda and as part of the commemorative scheme it was thought a more appropriate entrance to the walk and the approach to the memorial should be provided. Hence the current Gate which was built to the design of 'the Professor' (late Sir) Albert Richardson (1880 - 1964) who in 1919 had come to live in Ampthill. Origially hung from piers of sandstone, some of the ironwork of the Gate (central and right hand panels) came from the parish church of St. Andrew. This was donated by W.T. Sharpe, a local building contractor, and adapted and extended by a blacksmith named Percy Sanders assisted by a Frank Burrows. The Coade stone urns were purchased by Ampthill Urban District Council (as was) for £20, with stone ball finials given by Edward Coleman, a town councillor and local grocer. The Gate is
The Cenotaph is a listed building and is one of three memorials erected in Ampthill to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Great War of 1914 - 18. The memorial is owned and maintained by the Town Council and each Novemnber the town's Remembrance Service is held at the Cenotaph following a parade from St. Andrew's Church. It was the 11th Duke of Bedford who gifted the site at the end of the Alameda for the erection of an Ampthill war memorial. This was in addition to the erection at his own expense of the memorial to the Bedfordshire Regiment in Ampthill Park. The Cenotaph was unveiled on 17th May 1921 by HRH Princess Beatrice.