Gloucestershire has a unique historical house in Woodchester Mansion. The amazing Neo-gothic masterpiece of the young architect Benjamin Bucknall sits in a steep-sided secluded valley a few miles south of Stroud. The unfinished building is Grade I listed and rated as of architectural significance at an international level.
Why? Because this house – like no other – shows the bare bones of its construction. Walls are unplastered, stone vaulted ceilings incomplete, wooden formwork and original scaffolding poles are still in place, so the visitor can see how Gothic buildings are constructed. You can learn many new things. It is a house built almost entirely of local stone, with high quality craftsmanship. So offsetting the learning, there are wonderful carved animals to look at - a delight for children of all ages.
Why was it never finished? Well, you have to visit to discover the full story. The family fortunes and misfortunes have been traced in Gloucestershire Archives and other counties, and the secrets have been revealed. Work stopped in 1873 and , apart from a small flurry of activity in 1894, the building has essentially been untouched since.
Now cared for by the Woodchester Mansion Trust, the house will never be finished. Work to maintain it in good condition is a never ending task, with a current price tag of some £5m. It is open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 31st March to 5th November this year, 11am to 4pm. Come and see for yourself!
Please check the website before visiting: www.woodchestermansion.org.uk