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Description: National Westminster Bank Including Lothbury Gallery
Date Listed: 10 November 1977
English Heritage Building ID: 199781
OS Grid Reference: TQ3277181283
OS Grid Coordinates: 532771, 181283
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5149, -0.0880
TQ 3281 SE LOTHBURY, EC2
627/10/29 No.41 (including No.12 Angel
10.11.77 (National Westminster Bank and
Former headquarters of the Westminster Bank. 1923-31 by Mewes and Davis, in three phases, following a competition win of 1921. Stone facade cladding steel frame, five main storeys and two attics, roof not seen. Rectangular double-height banking hall with offices along convex front curved to follow line of street and with directors' wing along Angel Court. Asymmetrical composition in 8:3:5 bays, the three-bay centre containing the entrance and terminating the vista from Bartholomew Street. The main facade has a high base with Ionic pilasters uniting the ground and mezzanine floors and carrying a modified entablature with a flat carved cill level. Above this, the upper storeys are plain ashlar faced with moulded architraves and console keystones to the lower openings (which embrace the second and third floor windows) and moulded frames to the upper (fourth floor) openings. Simple frieze and cornice with crowning balustrade, above which are two storeys of attics, each recessed, the windows of the lower with bracketed cornice hoods, three of the upper with scrolly headed frames broken by projecting keystones. The asymmetrically placed three-bay slightly projecting entrance block is quoined; tripartite entrance composition with two-storey arched opening to coffered tunnel-vaulted entrance; the central window above the entrance with console hood on consoles; the two-storey monumental attic has coupled composite columns with bracketed entablature and crowning balustrade with armorial sculpture over the centre and sculpted sea horses on the corners. Deep recessed semi-circular headed openings between the coupled columns with carved keystones and festoon over. War memorial plaque to fallen staff of both World Wars. Elevation to Angel Court similarly treated. Return elevation at left hand end to Tokenhouse Yard.
INTERIOR. Vestibule leads to double-height former banking hall (now art gallery) lined in Subiaco marble and with marble floor of alternate squares of green and white marble. Natural top-lighting with bronze ventilators, though this is supplemented by artificial lighting after dark and in the winter. Giant order of 4 x 3 fluted Ionic columns and full-height Ionic pilasters to outside walls with gallery on three sides supported on Tuscan half-columns . Fourth (vestibule) side treated as monument to the fallen, with Ionic columns on both sides, double doors under giant arches with engaged pilasters. Doorcases with stone cornices and architrave surrounds. Egg and dart box cornices, built in radiators and letter box. Pendant cylinder lights with bronze fixings. Bronze lifts. These and two sets of stairs lead to five storeys of offices along Lothbury frontage of an elaborate nature in a variety of styles using Adamesque fireplaces, Victorian foliate decoration and painted panelling for the principal rooms and landings on the second to fifth floors. Second floor manager's office fully panelled with bolection mouldings and decorative fillets, marble fireplace with fluted pilasters and doors in moulded surrounds. Fourth floor managers office also with bolection-moulded panelling.
Directors suite overlooking Angel Court still more elaborate. Dining rooms with foliate and Adamesque cornices and marble fireplaces. Curved staircase in oval hall, with iron balustrade and decorative brass urns leads to corridor with groin vault and Corinthian pilasters serving meeting rooms in seventeenth century style, reached through doors with pedimented surrounds. Committee rooms in various styles: one with heavy modillion cornices and late C17 moulded ceilings with chandeliers, whence double doors lead to coffee room with marble fireplace in Ionic apse with fluted Ionic pilasters arranged in antis. Below these the first-floor Chairman's office has dentilled cornice, other rooms in suite with egg and dart cornices, high ceilings and mahagony doors. Two commitee rooms with heavy modillion cornices and coved ceilings, Corinthian pilasters either side of marble fireplaces, dado and doorcases with console brackets.
Listed in grade II* for its opulent and little altered interior.
Listing NGR: TQ3277181283
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.