Roof torn off UK’s largest man cave as unlawful constructing is ripped down

UK’s biggest – and illegal – man cave has had its roof torn off following a 10-year battle as the demolition continues.

Millionaire Graham Wildin, 70, has repeatedly defied court orders to knock down the 10,000sq/ft leisure complex he has built at the back of his Cinderford home in Gloucestershire. He’s even gone to jail over the construction.

His disagreement with Forest of Dean District Council has been ongoing since 2014, when he built the mega man cave that comes with a bowling alley, casino and a cinema, without planning permission.

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Man cave's casino
This casino is now gone

Council-initiated demolition began in June, with the roof coming off this week revealing the man cave had been gutted inside.

Drone pictures show the shell of the building, and reveal the squash courts, soft play area and bowling alley no longer exist.

An onlooker said: “It really looks nothing like the plush leisure centre which we once saw there.”

Drone image of roofless man cave
As demolition is underway, the man cave has been gutted

Wildin’s first of five court defeats came in September 2018 when a High Court injunction was handed down initially giving him until the end of April 2020 to remove the building. He failed to comply and was given a suspended sentence in June 2021.

He then lost an appeal against the sentence at the Court of Appeal that November and he was ordered to demolish the complex by March 10, 2022.

But when Wildin’s defiance continued, the six-week suspended sentence for contempt of court was activated on August 13, 2022.

Man cave demolition site
The council started demo in June

Once released from HMP Cardiff, he was given 18 weeks to “soft strip” the interior of the building to make it unusable. That deadline expired in January 2023 and last year was his fifth court defeat as his sentence was upheld and he was ordered to pay £9,962 in costs to the district council – despite claiming he had now sold it all for just £1.

A Forest of Dean District Council spokesperson said: “As a council it is our duty to ensure that planning and development proposals comply with the law and bring benefit to the local area, whilst also safeguarding the community.

“Hundreds of people every year follow the correct process for planning applications and development, sadly this has not been the case at this location.

Man cave's bowling alley
This bowling alley also no longer exisits

“It is important to note that the cost of this process should not be borne by the taxpayer, and we will look to recover the full cost of the demolition from the landowner in due course.

“We will work closely with our demolition contractor, to limit any disruption for residents.

”We would like to also take this opportunity to thank the people living in close proximity to this property for their patience during this lengthy legal process.”

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