Masquerade 40

 25th October 2019: A Night of Masquerade at Parkside Hall, Ampthill at 7.30pm.
 BBC film “The Man behind the Masquerade”
 A talk explaining Masquerade.
 Tickets £5 from Ampthill Town Council and other outlets.


In 2019 we celebrated 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 surrounded 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 museum.

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

Events held in 2019 included:

    6th July: AmpProm
        Masquerade40 on Golden Hare Stage. 
        Ampthill Great Park  4.15-5.15pm

    7th July: AmpGala Day
    Stall & Display of Masquerade40.

    31st July: Masquerade at The Hide
    Stories & Songs with Mark Jeoffroy and Jack Hare
        with Emily Woodcraft.
        The Hide, Ampthill  7.15pm for 8.00pm start

    7th August: “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick”
    Learn Lace Tells and rhymes, follow the
        Golden Hare trail and solve a Masquerade riddle.
        Children’s play area, Ampthill Great Park  11.00am-12.00 noon

        7th August: “The Tale of Jack’s Parade”
        Commemorating the burial of the Golden Hare.
        Music, song and poetry performed by Mark Jeoffroy
        with Emily Woodcraft.
        Katherine’s Cross, Ampthill Great Park  7.15- 9.15pm

    28th September: Masquerade Ball
    Organised by Ampthill Town Cricket Club

    25th October: A Night of Masquerade
     BBC film “The Man behind the Masquerade”
        A talk explaining Masquerade.
        Tickets  £5  from Ampthill Town Council and other outlets.
                Parkside Hall, Ampthill  7.30pm