The impressive Woodchester Mansion near Stroud has been awarded a £175,000 grant from the Historic Houses foundation, to help get vital repairs to the building underway.
It is currently at risk of serious water damage as the roof on the South Range is in need of emergency repairs – with the grant money, which has been match-funded, going towards these essential works.
Famously left unfinished since 1873 after the death of its owner, William Leigh, Woodchester Mansion is considered one of Gloucestershire’s most interesting buildings – and one of national significance, too.
Architecturally spectacular, the Victorian gothic mansion has missing floors and ceilings, unplastered walls and unglazed windows, with fireplaces jutting out from the middle of walls and impressive carved stonework.
The mansion is a centre for heritage craft training, as well as being home to Europe’s most studied colony of greater and lesser horseshoe bats, which reside in the tower.
The grant money comes from the £2.1 million Heritage Stimulus Fund, managed on behalf of Historic England, designed to help heritage properties like Woodchester Mansion recover from the loss of revenue caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – and its impact on maintaining, repairing and renovating historic properties.
Trustee of the Woodchester Mansion Trust, John Goom, said: ‘We were overjoyed to hear that we had been successful in the second round of grants from HHF. These grants have allowed us to make much greater progress towards a sustainable future for the Mansion than we could have hoped for.
‘The works have also provided continuing employment for specialist masons and Cotswold roof slaters in very difficult times. When these latest works are complete our visitors won’t need umbrellas when they walk along the top floor corridor.’
Repair work is set to being immediately and is expected to be completed before the mansion reopens to visitors on Friday 1 April 2022.