The Mystery of Woodchester Mansion: Not All Ghosts at Woodchester Like Visitors!
History Of Woodchester Mansion.
William Leigh was a wealthy merchant from Liverpool. He bought the estate in 1845, moving to Gloucestershire after his conversion to Catholicism, he intended to build a thriving catholic community there and promote his new religion with a church and a monastery. The church was completed in 1849 and the work on Leigh’s dream home began in the 1850’s. The architect Charles Hansom began the work and was replaced by a local young catholic convert Bucknall a few years later. Bucknall like Leigh shared a love of French architecture and it is widely believed that stonemasons were brought from France and French architects were consulted about the glazing in the chapel.
Paranormal investigations Began.
Paranormal investigations at the mansion often capture E.V.P of voices speaking a foreign language, and during a Most Haunted television episode it was speculated that there had indeed been a murder amongst the workmen. They do seem to have left the mansion in a hurry in fact there is a display of all the work tools they left scattered where they were working on that fateful day they left for the last time. No one will ever know why the workmen walked out on the job. Was it due to arguments over money or was there a violent death and they refused to return? Funding for the project was an issue William Leigh was known to be a perfectionist and is thought to have overseen most of the work of the mansion himself, but work was slow and Leigh was constantly struggling to fund his magnificent dream home. William Leigh died in 1873, with his vision unfinished and his aspirations unrealised.
Mansion changed Hands Many times
The daunting task of an unfinished house was passed to his son also called William who found that the cost of completing and the consequent upkeep of the mansion afterwards was more than he could afford. Abandoning plans to complete his father’s project he extended the cottage instead which then became the family home.
Although the estate changed hands many times, each time the intention to complete the house was there but each time either through lack of finance or ill health the plans never materialized, and so Woodchester remained empty, unlived in and barren. Echoes of a previous happy family who lived in an earlier home ring through the desolate corridors, as if to mock the unfinished house and the grand dwelling place that never was. But Woodchester mansion captivates and entices and has offered a place for the many spirits that roam, the living may have never taken up residence in the mansion, but the dead found a place to call home.
2nd World War And Woodchester Mansion.
In the Second World War the grounds were used by soldiers for training and practice purposes and indeed the ghosts of soldiers killed in one of the lakes have been seen wandering the empty passageways of woodchester.
From the mid seventies the house became neglected until it was purchased by the council in 1988, and the following year the woodchester mansion trust was established. Today the house is a grade one listed building as all year round maintenance work is carried out to preserve one of the finest pieces of Victorian architecture standing
Ghost hunts In The Mansion.
Its reputation for being haunted has grown and public ghost hunts and paranormal groups are there most weekends, seeing for themselves how the eerie building comes to life when the shadows fall. We have visited the mansion many times running ghost hunt events and we have experienced growls in the cellar, voices and shadows of people in the chapel area, even taps and raps on an upstairs window in response to questions asked. Amazing photos showing colored mists and shadows of men with top hats have been taken, and camcorder footage of bright spirit lights is a regular occurrence. Woodchester Mansion loves to impress with activity and phenomena and deserves its reputation as one of the most haunted locations in the country.