The little castle in the middle of a housing estate where two four-bedroom homes are planned


A Gothic folly standing among a row of neatly planned Swansea bungalows could have two new neighbours.

The grade two-listed building was built on an overgrown hillock between 1820 and 1830 and originally known as the Belvedere.

The octagonal folly – or ornamental garden building – was once in the grounds of Sketty Park House.

While the house is long gone the derelict folly in Saunders Way, Derwen Fawr, is still standing.

But it’s seen better days.

Planning officers from Swansea Council, which sold the folly five years ago for around £130,000, are considering a pre-application enquiry for two four-bedroom houses in its grounds.

In their response to the applicant, Swansea businessman and bar owner Noah Redfern, officers said the folly was in urgent need of repair.

The presence of protected bat species, they said, made this challenging.

Their response said a conservation plan for the building could be part of a planning agreement between the authority and Mr Redfern, should a detailed application be submitted and approved.

The view from the grounds of the folly onto Saunders Way and Bishop’s Grove

A close-up of the listed structure

Ongoing maintenance, they said, would also need to be addressed.

Sketty Park House was the former home of copper and tin magnates, the Morris family. The folly was owned by the council for decades before being sold.

Plans in 2010 to turn the building into a home were sunk when greater and lesser horseshoe bats were found there.

Speaking at the time, a council spokeswoman said: “Maybe the folly could be turned into a bat sanctuary, that way we could protect both the bats and the landmark.”

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