Chapter III opens with the purchase of Woodchester Park in 1845, where Leigh aimed to create a Catholic community in the Cotswolds. Advice was first sought from A. W. N. Pugin, who described Woodchester Mansion as "wretched" and advocated demolition. Leigh's thoughts then turned to a community, with church and monastery, to be served by the Passionists. Pugin considered all this to be too ambitious for the budget and site, and withdrew from any involvement. However, by this time, Leigh was already consulting Charles Hansom, whose estimate for the church was considerably lower. The foundation stone of the church was laid by Bishop Ullathorne in 1846. Through Ullathorne, Leigh paid for a design by Hansom for work in Australia, seeing it as a model church for "the New World." Others followed. Leigh was careless of cost and had high expectations. The interior of Leigh's Church of the Annunciation near Woodchester, designed by Hansom, "resembled the new House of Lords." The east window above the altar was painted by William Wailes, there is a doom painting above the chancel arch and floor tiles were by Minton. This impacted upon the Mansion, where the builder was personally out of pocket and work was at risk of stopping.
With the death of Father Dominic Barberi, the Passionist Provincial, the Passionists concluded that the Woodchester community was too small to sustain the number of services Leigh sought. Ullathorne suggested replacing them with Dominicans, who were based at Hinckley in Leicestershire, where the Hansoms had previously resided. Their requirements were more costly than the Passionists, which further impacted upon Leigh's work at the Mansion. The final cost, partly funded by Leigh, was around £20,000. As Davenport frequently points out, Leigh was not careful in his budgeting and typically overspent. . . .
Here's a gallery of images from the unfinished mansion: work basically ceased after William Leigh's death in 1873.Blessed Dominic Barberi, the Passionist missionary to England who among other great things received Saint John Henry Newman into the Catholic Church, you can imagine that I wanted to know more!
I have found the websites of two Catholic churches in the area associated with Woodchester Mansion and William Leigh, The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Stroud and Woodchester Priory on St. Mary's Hill also in Stroud.
From what I have gleaned from this information now is that of William Leigh we could partially apply verse 9 from Psalm 69 (Douai-Rheims translation) to his efforts:For the zeal of thy house hath eaten me up: and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.