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Bank House

A Grade II Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8564 / 51°51'23"N

Longitude: -4.3046 / 4°18'16"W

OS Eastings: 241385

OS Northings: 220047

OS Grid: SN413200

Mapcode National: GBR DG.T8XQ

Mapcode Global: VH3LH.BLPQ

Entry Name: Bank House

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9605

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated approximately 20m NE of junction with Queen Street.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Carmarthen

History

Substantial late Georgian house, described as 'modern-built' in 1812, but shown on 1834 map as Messrs Morris Bank. The 1812 sales particulars describe the house with its principal rooms on the 1st floor, and extensive service accommodation on the ground floor.
The first bank established was David Parry's Bank, taken over in 1791 by David Morris, merchant of Carmarthen, who later also took over the Carmarthen Furnace Bank founded in 1792 by the Morgans of the tin works. It became the Carmarthen Bank on the failure of the earlier Carmarthen Bank of Walters, Jones & Co and continued under the Morris family until taken over by the National Provincial Bank in 1871.The Morris family were also part-owners of the tin-plate works 1801-21 and distinguished in the county history, David Morris was MP from 1837, William Morris from 1859, and the family owned the country houses at Coomb, from 1806, and Bryn Myrddin from 1848.
Bank House became the first permanent offices of the County Council offices, converted in 1906-7 by W D Jenkins, including possibly an extra storey. In use as council offices hereafter.

Exterior

House, later bank and now offices, in painted stucco. Plain large 4-storey, 4-window front, with wider spacing to centre. Raised stucco plinth. Nine-pane timber sashes with stone sills to ground floor (basement level within). Raised band above. Remaining openings are all 12-pane timber sashes with stone sills. Top has raised broad band into the base of which the upper window heads intrude, with a raised eaves course under edge of close-eaved hipped slate roof with broad rendered rear stack with some 15 chimney pots. Cast iron rainwater goods.
Right side was original entrance, with band above basement and broad upper band as on S front. Door at first floor centre right reached up fine broad flight of 19 stone steps from pavement level to flat platform with stuccoed wall. Broad arched doorway with very large fanlight, blocked sidelights, reeded pilasters, and 6-panel door with 4 fielded panels. Fanlight has unusually fine and elaborate tracery. Outside steps have rubble sides with basement door and window with stone voussoirs. Wrought iron balustrade with some scrolls to rails and urns intermittently on handrail. To left, large full height blank arched recess with stone sill, between basement band and top band. Above door are 2 bays of openings, the bay to left with C20 fire-escape door each floor and bay to right with 12-pane sash each floor. Fluted rainwater head to right. Large C20 fire escape.
Left side similarly rendered but without band over basement. Two-window range set to left with 6-pane sashes with side panes narrower, and stone sills. Basement door in right bay, arched with C20 door and plain fanlight. Blocked sub-basement opening under left bay. Cast iron rainwater goods.

Interior

Main entry at first floor into hallway with staircase opening off on N side with stair continued down to basement. Inner hall doorway similar to main door with reeded pilasters, blank sidelights and broad fanlight. Two plaster cross-vaults with double reeded arch on leaf capitals before plain (?replaced) ceiling at foot of stairs. Staircase has half-elliptical cantilevered stone first flight with shaped tread ends, thin rail and wrought iron scrolled balusters alternated with plain (?added) stick balusters. Straight landing rail at first floor. First floor landing has axial passage elliptical arch E of stairs with reeded mouldings on small corbels. Flight from first to second floor is cantilevered timber with wrought iron balusters to different pattern, scrolled tread ends, landing rail at second floor, and reeded moulding around curved stair wall. Flat C20 oval glazing over stair, presumably under a roof-light.
Basement has plaster-vaulted lobby with original cambered-headed 4-panel door off to N.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a fine early C19 building to an unusual and ambitious design with principal rooms to 1st floor; good Georgian character including fine staircase.

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