The boathouse brings back memories of lazy summer days and lavish boating picnics enjoyed by the Ducie family and their friends.
The boathouse was built in the nineteenth century. It may have been designed by John Adey Repton, the architect son of the famous Georgian landscape designer, Humphry Repton.
It was repaired in 1996 when the roof was replaced, the porch rebuilt and the oriel window strengthened. A new letterbox was put in, but it isn't for post, it's for bats. The park is famous for its rare and unusual bats. Ten different species have been seen at Woodchester, including lesser horseshoe which roost inside the boathouse. The letterbox gives them an easy route out of the boathouse when they leave at dusk to hunt for insects over the lake.
Turning back the clock
It's hard to believe that when the National Trust bought Woodchester Park in 1994, the boathouse was hidden by vegetation and the lakes were virtually enclosed by the conifer plantations around them. Detailed research revealed that the land around the lakes was fields.
We're gradually removing the conifer trees and re-establishing pasture around the lakes but it takes a long time to undo the past.