Woodchester Mansion - an unfinished masterpiece

Woodchester Mansion is a unique and amazing Grade I listed Victorian Gothic house hidden in a beautiful Cotswold valley.

It is an unfinished masterpiece. Building started about 1857, but stopped in the mid-1860s so floors and ceilings are missing, walls not plastered and windows unglazed. All the secrets of the construction of the Mansion are visible - something visitors will never see in another country house.

The Mansion is the masterpiece of a young local architect, Benjamin Bucknall from Rodborough. He produced a unique Gothic Revival house which blends the local traditional work in limestone with the ideas of the French architectural thinker Viollet-le-Duc.

The quality of the stone carvings in the Mansion is outstanding: some are inspired by the plants in the surrounding valley and others are life-like images of animals. There are also real mammals to be seen as the Mansion houses breeding colonies of Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats.

Owned by Stroud District Council, the Mansion is managed by the Woodchester Mansion Trust (itis not a National Trust property). On Open Days visitors can see how the house was built, admire the fine carvings and look at the bats on CCTV. Refreshments are available and the surrounding Woodchester Park (National Trust) can be explored.