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Former Union Bank of Manchester, 5 South Parade, Rochdale

Description: Former Union Bank of Manchester, 5 South Parade

Grade: II
Date Listed: 9 February 2012
English Heritage Building ID: 1405181

OS Grid Reference: SD8967613350
OS Grid Coordinates: 389676, 413350
Latitude/Longitude: 53.6166, -2.1575

Locality: Rochdale
County: Rochdale
Country: England
Postcode: OL16 1NT

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Listing Text


Former bank building, now bar premises, offices and residential accommodation. c1906-7 by Manchester architects' practice Moulds and Porritt.

Reason for Listing

The former Union Bank of Manchester, 5 South Parade, Rochdale, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: as an unusual example of an early-C20 bank designed in a highly distinctive and individual Edwardian Mannerist style imbuing this small building with a monumental and sculptural quality which mark it out from more mundane banks of the period;
* Materials: the building is constructed of high-quality ashlar and granite to both main elevations enabling its embellishment with much carving and detailing of the stonework;
* Craftmanship: of particular note is the quality of the architectural sculpture apparent in the relief carvings of the Michelangelo-inspired draped allegorical figures on the front elevation and the four giant seated statues round the tower lantern;
* Setting: the composition of emphatic, elongated forms and central tower endow the building with an impressive and eye-catching street presence well in excess of the narrow plot it occupies and make it a positive asset to the visual quality of the town centre.


5 South Parade, Rochdale, was built as new premises for the Union Bank of Manchester in the early C20. The Union Bank of Manchester had been founded in 1836 and was subsequently affiliated with Barclays Bank in 1919. During the early 1900s a number of new banks were built for the company in towns in the north-west. The building at 5 South Parade first appears labelled as a bank on the 1909 Ordnance Survey map, where it replaces an earlier L-shaped building on the site. It was designed by the architects' practice of Moulds and Porritt, of Manchester, Bury, and London. James Diggle Mould had commenced independent practice in Manchester in 1883, later taking his brother, S J Mould, into partnership. He subsequently also took Austin Porritt into a short-lived partnership, lasting from 1900 until 1906 when it was dissolved. Bank consultative committee minutes from November 1905 refer to 'the architect, Mr Moulds' attending to explain the foundations of the Rochdale bank, and December 1906 minutes record an estimated cost of 'a little over £6,000' including fixtures. Though the building is not dated, archive records suggest that it was opened on 15 April 1907. The practice also designed the former Union Bank of Manchester in Bury (15-19 Silver Street / 5 Broad Street) dated 1904 and listed Grade II. Another Union Bank in Stockport (15-17 Bridge Street) dated 1900 is also listed Grade II; it is not known who the architects were.

The building continued to operate as bank premises through much of the C20. Latterly the building has operated as bar premises on the ground floor with office space on the first floor and residential flats above.


MATERIALS: ashlar, granite, slate roof, leaded dome. Edwardian Mannerist.

PLAN: rectangular building on south side of South Parade, three storeys and attic; former banking hall on ground floor, offices and residential accommodation on upper floors. Secondary entrance to King Street side elevation with staircase to rear of building.

EXTERIOR: front elevation of three bays. Central square tower with dentil cornice and octagonal stone lantern with leaded cupola missing original finial, lantern flanked by four giant seated female allegorical figures. Ground floor has rusticated granite plinth with smooth granite band to sill level. Central round-arched doorway with moulded hoodmould and giant keystone, heavily chamfered granite reveals, fielded panel double doors with lintel and semi-circular overlight. Large rectangular window to each side with decorative glazing bars. First and second floors articulated by giant pilasters culminating in segmental pediment to each side of central tower. Rectangular first-floor casements with glazed double doors open onto shallow balconies with curved iron balcony balustrades. Central casement has circular stone plaque above (probably originally supporting bank name plaque), both set in elongated doorcase of engaged columns with broken-base triangular pediment. Above pediment is relief carving of two allegorical figures representing Justice, one holding scales and the other a sword, seated to either side of small circular window with laurel wreath frame. Narrow rectangular window to tower above with elongated keystone and giant dentils. Round-headed second-floor windows in two outer bays with aprons carved with Art Nouveau cartouches. Seated on the round-headed window heads are two further pairs of allegorical figures representing the Arts; the left pair represent an artist with palette and brush and a musician holding a lyre; the right pair represent an architect holding a model of a building similar in appearance to the bank, and a sculptor holding a small statue. Between the figures are shields bearing a coat of arms with three diagonal stripes and a sailing ship. Within the segmental pediments above are small casement windows.

East side elevation similarly detailed, with giant pilasters. Three storeys with two single-storey bays to left; doorway in left-hand bay with granite architrave, square casement window above with giant dentil over with elongated cartouche and ribbon with relief initials UBM.

INTERIOR: former banking hall retains two square columns and a pilaster to the rear faced in dark grey marble, now partially painted. Modern bar counter. Two front rooms on first floor, with painted metal beams supported on two columns. Chimney breast in each room, fireplaces removed. Landing with concrete dogleg staircase with plain metal balustrades to upper floors; residential accommodation not inspected. Basement strong room with solid strong-room door and inner iron-bar door.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.