ROGER Gosling gave a very interesting and informative talk to the WI on Woodchester Mansion, which is near Nympsfield village, four miles south of Stroud, a Grade 1 listed, unfinished Gothic Revival building Willian Leigh purchased four thousand acres of deer park to build his new home.

He was a deeply religious man who had converted to Catholicism.

The young architect Benjamin Bucknell was employed in the 1850’s to be in charge of the building of the mansion, but the project was beset with problems.

Leigh also engaged the services of Augustus Pugin, but progress was slow and eventually the project was halted, probably through.lack of finance.

The mansion is now administered by The Woodchester Mansion Trust, who maintain the building and 22 acres of land around the building, with the help of various Lottery and Heritage grants, together with payment from visitors.

The drawing room is the only completed room in the house, the work being done in preparation for the visit of Cardinal Vaughan, Archbishop of Westminster, some 20 years after William’s death.

The unfinished state of the building is its great attraction, to visitors and architectural students as it is plain to see how a building of its time was constructed.

Some of the repair work is used as training for stonemasonry students from three colleges in the country and local craftsmen are employed in conservation projects.

Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats nest in the mansion, television cameras in the roost, relay pictures to screens on the visitor route.