Victorian former Walsall workhouse office building set for sale in Bond Wolfe’s next auction

The abandoned former offices of the Victorian Walsall Workhouse are coming up for sale as a redevelopment site in Bond Wolfe’s next auction.

The Grade II-listed, three-storey office building will have a guide price* of £99,000+ in the livestreamed auction on Thursday 14 December.

The Former Board Of Guardians Offices, 100 Pleck Road, Walsall, have been empty and abandoned for around 15 years and are now derelict to the extent that potential bidders visiting the site are warned: “Viewers must take extreme care and access is at the viewer’s own risk.

“Appropriate clothing and footwear should be worn when viewing the property and a torch may also be required.”

Despite this, many of the building’s original features, both inside and out, have survived, including glazed tile dados, panelled doors, stained glass and a first floor board room with a moulded plaster panelled coved ceiling.

James Rossiter, senior auction valuer at Bond Wolfe Auctions, said: “While the property is clearly in need of refurbishment and repairs throughout, it has a wide range of potential uses and further development, subject to obtaining the necessary planning and consents.

“The exterior of this beautiful Jacobean-styled building is largely unspoilt, and its enormous potential means it is sure to attract bidders and developers with imagination.”

The offices of the Board of Guardians of Walsall Poor Law Union were built between 1898 and 1900 to oversee the Walsall’s Central Union Workhouse nearby, which was housing up to 460 people in the years before the First World War.

The workhouse was later converted into Walsall Manor Hospital and the Victorian buildings were demolished during later redevelopments. But the offices are thought to have remained in use until the turn of the last century.

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The building extends to 3,500 sq ft on the ground floor, with a vestibule, a large hallway with access to a cellar and three office rooms. The first floor, also of 3,500 sq ft, has a landing and large corridor with five offices and two WCs.

The second floor is a tower room office of around 420 sq ft. There is land to the side and the total plot extends to nearly a quarter of an acre.

The building has had Grade II listed status since 1995 for special architectural or historic interest.

It also features in the Victorian Society’s Top Ten Endangered Buildings list for 2023.

The actor and writer Griff Rhys Jones, president of the Victorian Society, said: “It seems extraordinarily wasteful and wilful that a new use cannot be found for this fine building.

“It was offices originally and could fulfil that function again. Why erect a boring cookie-cutter office design when you could work in something this stylish!

“This is a palace looking for a new occupant.”

The former workhouse offices in Walsall are among 156 lots appearing in Bond Wolfe’s next auction, which will start at 9am on Thursday 14 December. 

If you have a property you are considering selling, visit https://www.bondwolfe.com/free-property-appraisal/ email auctions@bondwolfe.com or call 0121 312 1212 or 01902 928 510 for advice or to arrange a free no obligation valuation.

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