Masquerade 40

2019 ~ we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Kit Williams' eclectic book 'Masquerade' which sparked a national treasure hunt. 

On the 7th August 1979 Kit Williams and Bamber Gascoigne buried the Hare jewel in Ampthill Great Park. The spot chosen is where Kit knew that the shadow of Katherine’s Cross fell on the Spring and Autumn Equinox – to find the treasure the puzzle solver would need to be in the correct place on a specific day. The book Masquerade was published at the end of August 1979.

It was two years before folk solved the quirky riddle and unearthed the Golden Hare jewel. Controversary and a hint of scandal surround the discovery which fuelled press interest. In 1988 the amulet was eventually sold at Sotheby’s to an anonymous overseas bidder for £31,900. It was briefly returned to Britain in 2009 on occasion of the 30th anniversary and exhibited at the V&A.

The Ampthill Town Council Masquerade40 steering group is led by the Friends’ of Ampthill Great Park and enthusiastic volunteers from the town. We aim to celebrate Masquerade and colourfully promote Ampthill Great Park in collaboration with talented community organisations.

Programme of events

23rd March: Masquerade40 Launch
27th April: AmpLiterary
6th July: AmpProms
7th July: AmpGala Day
31st July: An Evening of Tales, Poetry & Song
7th August: The Tale of Jack’s Parade
28th September: Masquerade Ball
25th October: A Night of Masquerade

Please follow Masquerade40 on FaceBook or email Ampthill Town Council if you would like to know more and/or volunteer.