Cainscross House was built in the 'Jacobethan' style in 1896, and was a private house until 1930, when it became the Cotswold Nursing Home. Later in the 1930s, it was lived in by Lt.-Colonel Gudman, leader of the West of England branch of the British Union of Fascists until he was sacked in 1939, on the grounds of poor leadership.
The BUF was set up by Sir Oswald Mosley in 1932, and shared many of the opinions of Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany. Mosley visited Stroud and is supposed to have stayed in Cainscross House.
Gudman claimed to be the only Englishman to have known the Nazi leaders before they entered politics. He claimed to have helped Ribbentrop smuggle alcohol into the USA during prohibition, and to have helped Goering to smuggle guns. He recalled that at that time Hitler could only afford a shabby raincoat.
In 1939, Gudman wrote to the local press opposing the adoption of Jewish children from Germany by local parents. The headmaster of Wycliffe College replied that Gudman's letter was "full of bad facts, bad history, faulty logic and unworthy sentiment".