GUARDED by luscious countryside, the neoclassical masterpiece Piercefield House once attracted the well-heeled in their droves – but now it lies in ruin.

Designed by the world-famous architect behind the Bank of England, John Soane, the Grade-II listed building is now a shell of its former self.

The country house in St Arvans, Monmouthshire, overlooks 129 acres of parkland, with the Wye Valley snaking its way behind the estate.

But it sits in a state of ruin, as keen photographer Ian Agland recently discovered.

South Wales Argus:

(Nature has reclaimed the interior. Picture: Ian Agland.)

South Wales Argus:

(The house has stood empty for more than seventy years. Picture: Ian Agland.)

“It is a crying shame,” Mr Agland, from Newport says.

“It is in a hell of state.

“But it is a hidden gem – you would never know about it.

“It has fantastic views of the Severn and the parkland is huge, it is wonderful.”

South Wales Argus:

(A beam of wood lays collapsed. Picture: Ian ngland.)

South Wales Argus:

(The facade of the house has been taken over by greenery. Picture: Ian Agland.)

Edward Strachan, an art dealer from London, attempted to buy the decaying building in 2011.

But his bid, which eventually reached up to £1.3 million, was rejected.

The house has been left empty since the Second World War, when US troops used it as a base to conduct D-Day Landing training exercises.

Only four roofless walls and two pavilions remain.

South Wales Argus:

(The building has been left to decay. Picture: Ian Agland.)

South Wales Argus:

(What looks like the structure of a landing or staircase is exposed to the elements. Picture: Ian Agland.)

A campaign group, SAVE, launched a campaign in 2013 to help restore the building.

At the time, SAVE president Marcus Binney said: “Piercefield really is an important house.

“It's also hugely important in terms of the Picturesque and Romantic movements and, because of its location, it's truly a gateway to Wales."

South Wales Argus:

(The house sits in a acres of luscious land. Picture: Ian Agland.)

South Wales Argus:

(Just four walls roofless remain. Picture: Ian Agland.)