Dunbar House, also known as Danbert House, is a forlorn sight in Morfydd Street, Swansea. It’s once glorious Gothic gables are derelict and weeds have taken the place of the magnificent stonework that used to adorn the windows.
Built in 1880 for a tinplate magnet, the property has been beset with bad luck since the start. Local businessman Daniel Edwards, a pioneer of his times, designed and planned the house to be his beloved home, but it was not to be. The Victorian builder commissioned to construct the elaborate mansion house went bankrupt and the building was never completed or lived in by Edwards.
Used as an Employment Exchange in the 1980s, the grade II listed building had the most stunning oak panelling and ornate interiors, according to a local woman who used to work there.
But then the building fell out of use and into disrepair.
In 2015, the then Australia-based owners of the property, were made subject to a compulsory purchase order by the council. The property was sold at auction for £100,000, with the council claiming approximately £20,000 of the proceeds to recoup the costs of safety and emergency works carried out.
The new owners submitted a pre-planning application to convert the 9000 sq. ft. building into 15 apartments, a move that Swansea Council stated “would be supported subject to wider discussions.” But no further talks happened, and no work started.
Fast forward three years and the property, one of Swansea’s most ‘at risk’ listed properties, is up for auction for the fourth time this year with a knockdown guide of £65,000.
Locals are keen to see Dunbar House restored to its former glory and to end the spell of bad luck. “It’s sad to say, but the place looks better now the trees and plants have grown over it,” said a neighbour who overlooks the property. “I wish someone would take it on to make it what it once was – it really was beautiful.” The council are also keen to see the building brought back into sustainable use and indicated in their pre-planning guidance that grants may be available for some works.
Toby Limbrick, Director of Network Auctions, who are selling the property said, “The building has major potential to become a landmark property once again. It will require an experienced or brave investor to take this project on, but the end result could be stunning.”
Dunbar House, Morriston, Swansea, SA6 8BG will be sold at auction on the 25th October at Network Auctions London sale.