British Listed Buildings

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Natwest Bank, Redbridge

Description: Natwest Bank

Grade: II
Date Listed: 9 June 2014
Building ID: 1419445

OS Grid Reference: TQ4357686395
OS Grid Coordinates: 543576, 186395
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5582, 0.0697

Locality: Redbridge
County: Greater London Authority
Postcode: IG1 2DG

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Listing Text


Bank, c.1902, probably by Horace Cheston and Joseph Craddock Perkin.

Reason for Listing

The Natwest Bank building at 50 Ilford Hill, probably of 1902 by Cheston and Perkin, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural quality: a very handsome and prominently-sited Edwardian corner bank of vigorously eclectic design, whose high architectural calibre outweighs the loss of the principal interior;
* Context and group value: the bank is located next to the ancient St Mary and St Thomas's Hospital; there is also an interesting stylistic comparison with the contemporary Town Hall further east on Ilford High Road.


Ilford grew slowly during the first three-quarters of the C19, from a large village of 2,000 residents in 1801 to a small town of 7,600 in 1881. Thereafter its expansion was rapid, as new estates were built over the surrounding farmland and the town was gradually absorbed into the outer suburbs of London. Its population almost quadrupled between 1891 and 1901, when it reached 41,000, and had nearly doubled again by 1911. Along with this development came a number of grand new civic and commercial buildings, most notably Benjamin Wheeler's flamboyant town hall of 1901.

The Ilford branch of the London and County Bank (a large retail banking concern established in the 1830s and eventually merged into the National Westminster Bank in 1969) first appears in the local trade directories in 1902. It was built in one of the most prominent locations in the town centre, next to the ancient hospital of St Mary and St Thomas at the corner of Ilford Hill and Cranbrook Road, immediately opposite the end of the High Street. The architects appear to have been Cheston and Perkin, i.e. Horace Cheston (1850-1919) and Joseph Craddock Perkin (1862-1942), who designed several other London and County branches including those at Canning Town (LB Newham), Wimbledon (LB Merton), St Ives (Cambridgeshire) and Sudbury (Suffolk). Subsequent alterations have included a mid-C20 extension to the south (excluded from the listing) and the stripping-out of the ground-floor interiors c.2000.


Bank, c.1902, probably by Horace Cheston and Joseph Craddock Perkin.

MATERIALS: buff-coloured ashlar with grey granite plinth and Welsh slate roofs; stock brick to rear elevations.

PLAN: the building occupies a triangular corner site; the main part is a V-shaped block of two and a half storeys, with the entrance right on the corner facing the High Street. To the right, on Ilford Hill, is a further single-storey range. The original internal layout - now lost - comprised banking hall, waiting room, manager's office and strong room on the ground floor, with domestic accommodation (presumably for the manager) on the upper floors.

EXTERIOR: the style is Edwardian ‘Free Classical’, here a vigorous blend of Jacobean and Italian Mannerist elements. The main part of the building comprises two three-bay wings running back obliquely on either side of a canted corner block. Each wing has two superimposed orders of engaged half-columns with architrave, frieze and cornice. The taller ground floor has a rusticated Doric order above a rock-faced granite plinth, while the first floor has a smaller Ionic order with a diminutive rusticated sub-order forming the window-jambs and mullions. A deep modillion cornice crowns the façade, with a balustrade above; the steep-pitched roof has broad slab-like ridge stacks. The corner element provides the main architectural focus. Here, a big Dutch gable with urns, string-courses and crowning aedicule rises above a polygonal bay window set between two domed polygonal turrets. These are corbelled out at first-floor level, where they appear to force their way up through broken triangular pediments which rest upon the paired columns framing the main entrance. The single-storey outer right-hand wing replicates the ground-floor treatment for a further seven bays, with a secondary entrance at the western end. The plain two-bay, two-storey outer wing on the left-hand side is a mid-C20 extension, and is not included in the listing.

INTERIORS: the banking hall was gutted c.2000, and all original features are now either lost or boxed in. Pursuant to s1(5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the modern fittings in the ground-floor banking area are not of special architectural or historic interest. Other interiors were not inspected (2014).

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