Ideas invited for restoration of Lewisham’s Victorian gothic swimming baths


The former Ladywell Playtower swimming baths in Ladywell Road. Pic: Mike Quinn

Ladywell Playtower, a Victorian bathhouse located near Ladywell village, is accepting proposals for the buildings development and renewal. Lewisham Council are inviting expressions of interest from developers, investors, and occupiers to restore the grade II listed building.

Ladywell Playtower was built in 1884 and was one of the first public swimming pools in the country, before closing in 2004. Following a fire in 2006, the building has become unusable and was placed on Historic England’s at risk register, as well as the Victorian Society’s top ten endangered buildings for 2015.

Apart from the rear pool hall, which was damaged in the fire but is still standing, the building remains intact. The roof structure was renewed in 2012.

Preservation groups and local organisations celebrate the council’s decision after years of fighting for the development of the building. The Victorian Society has urged the council to find a developer for the Playtower since 2015 with no luck until now.

Victorian Society Director, Christopher Costelloe, said: “We’re very pleased with Lewisham council’s forward momentum. Ladywell Baths has huge potential and featured on our 2015 Top Ten Endangered Buildings list so it’s wonderful to think it might finally be saved.”

“We urge the public to spread the word about the invitation for expressions of interest and hope these beautiful baths get the second chance they deserve.”

The Ladywell Village Improvement Group said: “The council has, over recent years, signally failed to make a committed effort to safeguard the future of this building, despite the significant ongoing costs to the council tax payer. So we are pleased to see that a clear process is in now in place and hope this results in good schemes which include at last some element of community access/use.”

Submissions for proposals close on 28th February and successful applicants will be shortlisted for the next round by mid March. Selected applicants will then submit a method statement before the final applicant is chosen in summer 2017. The project completion is estimated to be no sooner than summer 2019.

For more information or to submit a proposal, visit their website.


One Response

  1. Ian November 17, 2017

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