Plate 2Location of Torri

It-Torri ta’ Lanzun occupies a plot of land measuring approximately 518 square metres, located on a plateau at the northern fringe of the town of San Gwann, known as Mensija (or “Minsija”, the forgotten place), at a level which is 70 metres above sea level, and at a distance of 1080 metres from Spinola Bay (2). Mensija represents the oldest part of San Gwann in terms of architecture. Most of the residential buildings in San Gwann have been constructed since the mid-1950s; the 1908 (3) and 1940 (4) Ordnance Survey maps in fact show the existence of only a number of individual isolated buildings in the area. The more extensive version of these maps also shows that before the development of San Gwann, St Julians and Sliema, the Torri ta’ Lanzun site commanded unobstructed views of the north east coastline of Malta, stretching from St Paul’s Bay to Sliema Creek and the Valletta peninsula.

Plate 3Extract from 1908 Ordinance Survey Sheet

Plate 45

4. Extract from 1940 war Office Survey Map
5. Extract from 1968 Planning Authority Survey Sheet

Survey sheets, including the 1908, 1940 and the 1968 (5) editions, show the area where the Torri is located as “Ta’ Lanzun” or “Ta’ Lanzon”. These plans also indicate that the Torri ta’ Lanzun property probably included a number of interconnected adjacent fields, covering an area of approximately 29,800 square metres, located to the east and south east of the building, and bounded by what today are Triq l-Arznu, Triq il-Fagu, part of Triq Indri Calleja, part of Triq Salvu Bonanno, and Triq Sebuqa (6).

Plate 6Ta’ Lanzon lands (1)

A second series of fields, located further to the east and the east north-east of the building, beyond what today is Triq Michelangelo Cagiano, measuring approximately 32,000 square metres, are also indicated on survey sheets as “Ta’ Lanzon” (7). These fields are today bounded by Triq Michelangelo Cagiano and Triq ta’ Giorni, and incorporate Triq Claire E. Engel, Triq ta’ Marmora and Triq John Buontempo; it is logical to assume that these fields, which at their south western corner were only separated from the fields previously described by a narrow lane, also formed part of the Lanzon property.

Plate 7

Ta’ Lanzon lands (2)

Therefore it is possible that approximately 61,800 square metres (6.18 hectares, 55 tumoli or 15.3 acres) of land formed part of the Lanzon estate, excluding any other fields whose ownership is not recorded; however, these calculations are based on the assumption that interconnected fields were owned by the same person, and therefore without documentary evidence they cannot be verified.

These lands are today all occupied by housing (villa or terraced house) developments.