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The Wilderness

The Wilderness Outdoor Education Centre was marketed by Bruton Knowles. I think we first saw the article on the Bruton Knowles website which is included below (It can no longer be found on their website). Then Sophie went to visit and fell in love with it. Then we saw the brochure, which is very underwhelming for such a beautiful property.

The Wilderness comes to market

April 2014


Sunshine gives would-be country squires chance to see manor house at its very best.


Boasting fantastic panoramas over the Severn Valley and Gloucester, the Wilderness manor house near Mitcheldean is being marketed by Bruton Knowles.


And agents are hoping the Bank Holiday weekend  will encourage would be country squires to flock to the hilltop location   to make the most of its breath-taking views.

The Gloucester-based property specialists have been called in by the county council to identify new uses for the unique site – which has already seen service as a family seat, a school, isolation hospital and even an asylum.


The Wilderness is made up of the ten-bedroom main house with six large reception rooms and numerous ancilliary rooms along with a range of outbuildings on some 32 acres of land. The property is for sale in two lots, the buildings, land and woodland on just over 11 acres along with 20 acres of grazing land.

Bids are invited by Friday May 16 for the unique site, which has dominated Plump Hill in the Forest of Dean for more than 300 years.

Julian Capewell from Bruton Knowles  said: “We have had quite a bit of interest already through adverts and our website. But  the Wilderness has to be seen to be fully appreciated and we are confident the Bank Holiday weekend will trigger further interest with formal viewing days arranged for 25th April and 9th May.

He said the property could be converted into a sumptuous family home or a small spa hotel.

“Given its location in the heart of the Forest it would also lend itself to a number of outdoor  pursuits such as outward bound courses, triathlon training, abseiling, mountain biking, kayak and canoeing as well as walking.

“Another potential use could be an equestrian or trekking centre as it is ideally located to explore the local forest and the main outbuildings offer significant potential for conversion (or reversion) to this role.”

Julian said the handsome property boasted a bewildering array of outbuildings including barns, cottages and workshops capable of being converted into holiday homes. There is also a reproduction Saxon-style farm building and a miniature chapel.

Situated on the main Ross on Wye to Gloucester road, the Wilderness was built in the late 17th century-early 18th century for the Colchester-Wemyss family who were well known across Gloucestershire and beyond.

The handsome house includes dining room, large kitchens, meeting rooms and two workrooms / laboratories. There are also ten large bedrooms  and extensive cellars.

Julian said: “The main house is something of a treasure trove – with many window offering a breathtaking view over the Forest of Dean, Severn Vale and Gloucestershire. The rooftop views are simply stunning.”

There are also several additional farm and outbuildings on site which could be converted into holiday accommodation, along with a replica Anglo-Saxon House used for living history programmes and events. The house also has its own small chapel.

In all, the property includes 15,664 sq ft of floor space. None of the buildings are listed.

Julian said: “The 32-acre site includes meadows which are home to over 80 species of wild plants. There is also a five-acre semi-wild wood which has been used for woodland study and woodland craft courses.”  
The site is just 30 minutes from the M5 and the M4 and   is highly accessible from Bristol, Cardiff, Newport, Mid-Wales, Birmingham, Oxford and the Thames Valley.

Julian said: “The Wilderness is a unique location which would make an ideal project for the well-heeled and enthusiastic renovator. The premises are in need of TLC rather than JCB.”

For further details contact Julian Capewell on 01452 880000 or email

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