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The Old Bank and Bank House with front railings

A Grade II Listed Building in Milborne Port, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9663 / 50°57'58"N

Longitude: -2.462 / 2°27'43"W

OS Eastings: 367655

OS Northings: 118647

OS Grid: ST676186

Mapcode National: GBR MX.MG2C

Mapcode Global: FRA 56QK.BNM

Entry Name: The Old Bank and Bank House with front railings

Listing Date: 15 February 1985

Last Amended: 22 November 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1056283

English Heritage Legacy ID: 261879

Location: Milborne Port, South Somerset, Somerset, DT9

County: Somerset

District: South Somerset

Civil Parish: Milborne Port

Built-Up Area: Milborne Port

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Milborne Port

Summary

A former bank manager’s house and bank office of the mid- to late C19, with an attached former banking hall to the west of circa 1937; altered in late C20/early C21.

Description

MATERIALS: built in local stone rubble brought to course with ashlar dressings. The roofs are clad in plain clay tiles over stone slate base courses between coped gables with a stone chimney stack to the left-hand end of Bank House and a re-built stack to the rear of The Old Bank.

PLAN: rectangular principal range to the High Street with a mid-C20 single-storey addition to the rear of Bank House. The Old Bank, which was converted from a former cottage, has an early-C21 rear extension of two storeys.

EXTERIOR: Bank House is a two-storey building fronting onto the High Street. Its principal (south) elevation is a symmetrical composition of three bays in a Tudor style. There is a central cambered arched doorway with boarded door under a stepped square label. To either side is a chamfered stone mullioned window of four lights with metal casements that have diamond leaded panes under labels. The first floor windows are all of two lights; the outer windows set in coped gabled dormers with labels and wrought iron finials. To the west is the single-storey former bank (now The Old Bank) which is built of matching materials with a stone slate roof and exposed rafters. Its front (south) elevation breaks forwards slightly beyond the house and has an entrance to the left-hand bay and a four-light transomed window with metal casements of leaded lights to the right. Both have hoodmoulds with labels. The rear (north) elevation of Bank House has a central doorway with a pointed-arched surround, to the right of which is a bay window with timber sashes which appears to be a late-C19 or early-C20 addition. The left-hand bay has timber casements with leaded glass to both floors; the ground-floor window under a segmental head. The remaining first-floor windows are set within ashlar surrounds with mullions to both two-light casements. At right angles to the main range is a single-storey range of several phases and built of stone rubble under a roof of double Roman tiles. The rear of The Old Bank is obscured by an early-C21 two-storey addition.

INTERIOR: Bank House has undergone some reconfiguration with the removal of a partition wall but it does retain some mid- to late-C19 fittings, including skirting boards, picture rails, shutters and architrave to various rooms, as well as the staircase. The doors are modern replacements. Some of the fireplaces have been blocked, though there is a late-C19 stone fireplace in one of the rear rooms which has carved foliate decoration to the spandrels and chamfered jambs. The first-floor rooms were not inspected. The roof retains the principal rafters and angled struts. The entrance to the former office in The Old Bank is through a timber and glazed entrance lobby. The former doorways that originally provided access between the two buildings have been blocked but remain visible in the party wall. The room also retains a stone fire surround with chamfered jambs and recessed spandrels. Set high in the wall, to either side of the fireplace, are two blocked windows. The ceiling beams, which are understood to be steel with an applied veneer, are supported on carved stone corbels.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the front of Bank House, and extending across the frontage of the building, are cast-iron railings set on a shallow stone base. They consist of alternate thin collared spikes and fleurs-de-lys spikes with a matching pair of gates opposite the door, with quatrefoil panels to the base of each.


History

Founded in Langport during the late C18 Stuckey's Banking Co. (originally S & G Stuckey and Co.) went on to become a major West Country banking company, taking over other existing banks, principally in Somerset; and opening bank agencies in key towns across the south west. In 1875 the company opened a branch at 219 High Street (now Bank House) in Milborne Port; the bank office was situated in the front room, while the rest of the building provided accommodation for the bank manager. In 1909 when the company was sold to Parr's Banking Co., Stuckey's Bank had a banknote circulation second only to that of the Bank of England. Parr’s bank was absorbed by the Westminster Bank in 1923, which in turn merged with the National Provincial Bank in 1968 to become the National Westminster Bank.

Some time after 1928, since it is not depicted on the Third Edition Ordnance Survey map of this date, a single-storey addition was built to the rear of the manager's house (Bank House). In c.1937 Westminster Bank decided to expand their business in Milborne Port by converting the attached single-storey cottage to the west (now The Old Bank) into ‘an office with Strong Room and lavatory at the back, leaving the present office (in Bank House) as a Manager’s Room’. In the mid-1990s the Milborne Port branch, by then part of the National Westminster Group, closed. In 2005 The Old Bank was extended (with Listed Building Consent) to the rear and the strong room removed. Bank House remains a private dwelling, while The Old Bank provides office accommodation.

Reasons for Listing

The Old Bank and Bank House is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: for its roadside frontage in a Tudor-Gothic style that exhibits a studied use of local material and reflects the design of original bank premises next door;
* Design: although the exterior of the buildings is understated for a bank, this understatement is used as a powerful symbol of straightforwardness and even honesty, all important qualities for a bank to be associated with;
* Historic interest: for its former association with Stuckey Banking Company and, in the case of The Old Bank, as a record of the growth of the business in the mid-C20;

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