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The Mansion

A Grade I Listed Building in Woodchester, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7109 / 51°42'39"N

Longitude: -2.2778 / 2°16'40"W

OS Eastings: 380902

OS Northings: 201384

OS Grid: SO809013

Mapcode National: GBR 0LK.LY4

Mapcode Global: VH953.G8P9

Plus Code: 9C3VPP6C+8V

Entry Name: The Mansion

Listing Date: 28 June 1960

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1340703

English Heritage Legacy ID: 132140

Location: Woodchester, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL10

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Woodchester

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Woodchester St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 18/08/2020

SO 80 SW

Woodchester Mansion

(Formerly listed as The Mansion)


Large country house. c1854-1868 by Benjamin Bucknall for William Leigh. Ashlar limestone; ashlar chimneys; stone slate roof. High Victorian Gothic style. Built around small courtyard. Main two storey with attic L-plan range to south; chapel to east; secondary range to west; and service range to north, built into hill side.

South front: three parapet gables above buttressed wall. Symmetrical eight-window fenestration, four-light wide mullioned and transomed to ground floor with shouldered arched lower and trefoil headed upper lights, three-light wide to upper floor with trefoil headed upper lights, paired cross windows in attic gables with quatrefoil vent over. Mullioned cellar windows. Continuous drip moulds above windows running over buttresses, alternating buttresses having realistically carved animal gargoyles receiving water from channel down coped top of buttress below stone gutters on carved stone brackets. Paired ridge-mounted chimneys with circular shafts.

East side: three main gable ends, central to chapel with simple fin-like buttresses and elaborate flowing tracery to five-light east window. Two three-light chapel windows on south side, single to north, with matching tracery. Gable end of main south range to left with large off-centre single-storey canted bay window having large mullioned and transomed window to each face; diagonal corner buttresses with attached shafts and winged animal gargoyles; trefoil-headed lancet-pierced parapet. Large pointed relieving arch above bay is echoed by drip mould. Fenestration otherwise mixed mullioned or transomed, upper having separate hoodmoulds. Gable end of service range to right with scattered mullioned casements, bold diagonal buttresses and ridge-mounted stone vents.

West side: very changeful, not contrived but resulting from large gable end of main range to right, buttressed return wing to centre and service range to left with projecting wing. Belfry tower set behind dominates this range, having tall coped hipped roof, carved cresting and iron weather vane; tall stone louvred belfry openings.

Courtyard: buttressed west end of chapel with spherical triangular window containing rose tracery; two two-light windows below with Decorated tracery. Central gabled projection to rear of main range with stepped trefoil headed stair lights; much leaded glazing installed. Various stone rainwater pipes, buttresses and stone-bracketed gutters.

Interior: fine tierceron chapel vault with individually carved flower bosses. Most of house interior is incomplete, arched stone fireplaces and doorways being installed. Main range has one room with completed stone vaulting, otherwise only springing in place. Round arched moulded rere-arches to main front windows. Simpler vaulting to staircase and corridors. Many other stone fittings including bath and tunnel vaulted shower with animal gargoyle water outlet.

Leigh bought Woodchester Park from Lord Ducie in 1845 demolishing the C18 mansion and starting this large house, designed by a young local architect. Bucknall was greatly influenced by Viollet-le-Duc from an early age, becoming his English translator, and this is his most thorough application of a rational approach to Gothic architecture. Never completed, the house is partially glazed and completely roofed. One of the most remarkable houses of its period and uniquely exhibiting its construction process. Also in the large landscaped park (possibly by Capability Brown) are a boat house (q.v.) and The Tower (q.v.).

(The NMR has an extensive set of photographs. M.Girouard, The Victorian Country House, 1979; D. Verey, article in Country Life, 6th February 1969, and Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds, 1979.)

Listing NGR: SO8090201384

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