Building of the Month September 2021: Sandfield Tower, Queen's Drive, Liverpool
Sandfield Tower, also known as Gwalia, a once stately grade II listed Victorian Villa in Liverpool standing in ample grounds, is now a derelict shell. Over more than 20 years neglect has brought it from a building in need of some maintenance to a roofless, floorless ruin.
This handsome building with its distinctive square tower, giving it the appearance of an older fortified house, was built in 1851 and for the second half of the 19th century housed a collection of wealthy merchants and their families. In the 20th centiry, it was acquired and occupied by a church, which sold the house several decades ago, building a new building on the corner of the large site.
Despite standing in an affluent area of Liverpool, with some land around it, the owners have failed repeatedly to either repair or sell it on to a new buyer. The council has taken action several times to try to force essential repairs, but adequately protective repairs have not always been achieved and no viable long-term solution has been found.
In July 2020, it appeared that the council was making progress was towards taking action against the owner to require essential repairs and possibly lining up a CPO. This process has stalled after a spend freeze was introduced at the council.
To see more photographs and read about the history of the house compiled by a determined local campaigner, click here. The house continues to attract wide interest and dismay at its state as reported in the Liverpool Echo this month here.
Photos 1-4 colourised images from 2019 by Jonathon Wild