'Mystery' building unearthed at Woodchester Mansion

Archaeological dig at Woodchester Mansion
Image caption The structure may have been used during World War II by American troops, archaeologists said

Archaeologists working at Woodchester Mansion near Stroud have uncovered a "mystery" building not marked on any maps.

A team digging at an old stable block behind the main house unearthed the structure.

The excavations are part of an ongoing project by the National Trust to restore Woodchester's "lost" parkland.

Archaeologist Jim Gunter said the buildings may have been used for storage during World War II.

Mr Gunter said the stable blocks were shown on a tithe map from the 1780s but later became buried in the forest.

"What we don't know is whether these buildings were part of the Georgian mansion or part of the Victorian mansion (which was built on the same site).

'No record of it'

"It's a bit of a mystery. It looks fairly modern but we don't know. There's no record of it on any maps, drawings or Ordnance Survey maps.

"The last plan from the 1920s hasn't got this on, so we're thinking it might be something from the Second World War."

Canadian and American forces were stationed at Woodchester Park in the 1940s.

The Gothic mansion, built on the site of the previous Georgian house, was abandoned during construction in 1873 and never finished.

Mr Gunter appealed for anyone who might be able to shed any light on what the buildings were used for to get in touch.

"We'd love someone to come forward who remembers this site as it was in the 1950s and 60s, who can remember these buildings," he said.

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