This abandoned grand neo-renaissance styled Mansion was originally a residential dwelling but from the mid 1980’s became a care facility and later a retirement home for the elderly and was linked to the nearby church organisations. Villa Woodstock as this place is most commonly known, was apparently set for demolition before a private investor stepped in to repurpose the old building. I was unable to find much information about the original owners of the property but it was clear from our visit that the majority of the features of the building have been left in-situ with the bulk of the care facilities being added at the rear of the property in much more modern extensions. Inside there is a spacious entrance hallway which leads on to a 2 story skylight topped hallway which is surrounded with a gallery decorated with wrought-iron handrails. My Favourite area to shoot however was the dining room complete with wooden walls and wood covered ceilings. The original serving cabinets were still there and in excellent condition and the adjoining room had an old upright Piano which I am unsure as to whether this was added by the investor who converted the place or another original feature.
The future of the place is another uncertainty. From what I can establish the building has received heritage status from the local authority, but it has clearly sat empty for quite some time and is starting to show signs of decay in some of the room. Fortunately, the neighbours are known to keep a very close eye on the place and, as a result, the building has remained free from vandalism.
Visited with Matt ‘Kriegaffe 9’ Hampshire, Andy de Kay of Behind Closed Doors and Lowri Bate, this was the first spot on a little getaway to Germany which turned out not to be quite as fruitful as we had hoped! We arrived early, got in under the cover of darkness and before it came light we were greeted by some other explorers and decided to split off into 2 groups to cover the place. I started downstairs in the dining room but sadly didn’t spend long there as I expected to come back to this room once it got a little lighter. After shooting the Skylight in the Hall, I made my way upstairs to shoot from the Gallery. It wasn’t long after this that Police showed up and the visit was cut short :(. I’d certainly like to revisit this one, despite most of the contents being removed some of the architectural features alone would be enough to make me revisit and I could spend a few hours shooting the detail in that dining room woodwork! I hope this place gets saved before its too late.
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Enjoyed this report? then check out the one from Behind Closed Doors: Villa Woodstock
Limited Edition and Canvas prints, as well as regular prints, are available for all of the images above just ask me about prices.