Woodchester – A Gothic Vision

The story of William Leigh, Benjamin Bucknall and the building of Woodchester Mansion.

This book, written by the Mansion archivist, Liz Davenport, is a comprehensive guide to the history of the Mansion. It tells how the wealthy Catholic convert William Leigh came to Woodchester and why his wonderful Mansion was never finished.

If you’ve visited then you’re sure to have unanswered questions – find the answers in this account of the extended Leigh family, the roles of the architects Augustus Pugin, Charles Hansom and Benjamin Bucknall, and the story of how Leigh’s estate became the property of his two granddaughters.

If you would like to learn more about Woodchester Mansion, this book is a must for your reading list. It also makes an ideal gift for anyone who has visited and been intrigued by the amazing building. Or if you would like to share your enjoyment of the Mansion with others and encourage them to visit, buy a copy for them.

The Neo-Gothic Mansion was an on-trend example of mid-nineteenth century architectural design; the book, written in the twenty-first century digital era, is only available as an e-book from Amazon Kindle, price £7.50.

It is now possible to purchase a Kindle book as a gift for someone else.

All proceeds from the sales go to the Woodchester Mansion Trust.


Our archivist Liz Davenport is also happy to do talks for local history and civic societies and other groups, e.g. Probus, WI.

At present two talks are available, based on the history of the Mansion. Both last about 45-50 mins, with questions at the end.

Woodchester Mansion – an Unfinished Masterpiece 

This talk is ideal for those who haven’t visited before; it explains the background to building the Mansion and includes a quick tour in pictures.

A Visit to the Antipodes in 1852-4, and its impact on a unique Gloucestershire house

Archive material and modern research is used to tell the story of how the Mansion was funded. A talk for those who know about the Mansion and are maybe looking for something different for their programme.

Both talks are in powerpoint on Liz’s laptop, a projector can also be supplied. Her fee is £50, no travel expenses within ~30mi range of the Mansion.

Liz is particulary keen to meet audiences in South Glos, Bristol and Bath, to extend the visitor base for the Mansion.

To arrange a talk please email liz.davenport@woodchestermansion.org.uk

All proceeds go to the Woodchester Mansion Trust.

2024 Open Day Season

We are open 11am - 5pm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from Friday 29th March to Sunday 3rd November.

Telephone 01453 861541

Woodchester Mansion,

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