Former National Westminster Bank

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1467253
Date first listed:
09-Mar-2020
Statutory Address:
Station Road, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4PY

Map

Ordnance survey map of Former National Westminster Bank
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Statutory Address:
Station Road, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4PY

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Dorset
District:
North Dorset (District Authority)
Parish:
Gillingham
National Grid Reference:
ST8100926411

Summary

Former bank, now commercial (vacant, October 2019) and residential premises. 1900-1902 by Sir George Oatley for the Stuckey Banking Company Ltd. Late-C20 and early-C21 alterations.

Reasons for Designation

The former bank of 1900-1902 to the designs of Sir George Oatley for the Stuckey Banking Company Ltd is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* it has a well-proportioned composition and eye-catching design that achieves an assured street presence; * for the successful combination of classical styling which conveys tradition and solidity and Baroque elements that lend it an air of grandeur; * it is well-built using materials worked to a high standard of craftsmanship.

Historic interest: * an accomplished building by the noted architect, Sir George Oatley.

History

The Stuckey Banking Company Ltd was established in 1812. New legislation in 1826 led to the development of joint stock banks, which meant that people could combine as shareholders or proprietors (as they were called at the time) to establish larger banks. Stuckey’s became a joint stock bank that same year, and was only the second to be established in the country. The early policy of the company was to expand throughout Somerset and Bristol, acquiring other banks in the region, and it developed into a major West Country bank which at one time had a banknote circulation second only to the Bank of England. In 1909, by which time Stuckey’s had some 70 branches and sub-branches, it amalgamated with Parr's Bank and its privilege of issuing banknotes lapsed. This was followed by a merger with the London County and Westminster Bank; the name being shortened to Westminster Bank Ltd in 1923. A further merger in 1970 resulted in the establishment of the National Westminster Bank.

Stuckey’s opened its branch at Gillingham on a prominent corner position in 1900-1902; it was a plot that was previously occupied by another building. The bank was designed by renowned Bristol architect Sir George Oatley (1863-1950). He had begun a long-lasting collaboration with Stuckey's Banking Company in the late C19, undertaking a number of commissions for the bank, and responsible for Minehead (1901-02, Grade II) and Bridgwater (1903-1906, Grade II), and for alterations to a number of the company’s other banks between 1899 and 1910. The Gillingham building is understood to have cost £4449, though this did not include office fittings. It appears to have comprised the bank itself along with accommodation for the manager’s in the southern end of the building and on the upper floors. Mid- to late-C20 alterations include a single-storey extension to the rear containing a strong room and staff lavatories and the installation of an automatic transfer machine (ATM) and a new boiler room. The interior was also rearranged by extending banking facilities into the ground floor of the manager’s house to create a machine room. The bank closed in the 2014 and the upper floors have since been converted into bedsits.

Details

Former bank, now commercial (vacant, October 2019) and residential premises. 1900-1902 by Sir George Oatley for the Stuckey Banking Company Ltd. Late-C20 and early-C21 alterations.

MATERIALS: it is built of Hamstone ashlar and cut and squared limestone with red pointing and Hamstone dressings under hipped and gabled plain tiled roofs. There are ashlar chimneystacks with moulded caps to the side walls, downslope and to the ridge.

PLAN: the building, on a corner site, was L-shaped when built, comprising the main two storey and attic building with an adjoining single-storey block (shown as book room and store in 1989) facing onto Newbury and a single-storey block (yard, boiler room and former staff room) on the south side facing Station Road. A single-storey addition (strong room in 1989) has been built to the rear.

EXTERIOR : the building is Edwardian Baroque in style, and has two principal facades onto Newbury and to Station Road which flank an entrance on the corner. Each has an ashlar plinth, rusticated quoins, a plat band between the floors and modillion projecting moulded eaves. The Newbury elevation has two storeys and attics, with an adjoining single-storey block to the left that has no openings under a gabled roof with raised coping. The façade facing Newbury has banded rustication to the tall ground floor. The central two bays step forwards under a gabled roof, with two large fixed-light ground-floor windows in keyed flat-arched openings, two six/six pane sashes in keyed, moulded shouldered architrave and aprons beneath the windows to the first floor, and an oculus with rusticated surround at attic level. The outer bay to the left has matching windows to the ground and first floors; the bay to right contains the main entrance and no opening above. The projecting and angled entrance has two Ionic columns with blockings which support an entablature and a closed segmental pediment with a modillion cornice and carved decoration to the tympanum. Two steps lead to a large flat-arched doorway with richly-ornamented architrave of blocked pilasters and a two-leaf door with raised and fielded panels and rectangular light. The Station Road return (west) has five bays arranged 3:2. The left-hand three bays break forwards under a hipped roof and has two ground-floor and three first-floor windows with details that reproduce the Newbury facade. The two bays to the right are a simpler version of the same style, lacking rustication. There is a blocked entrance (inset with an ATM) with a plain, keyed surround and a hood with mouldings on brackets, and above this doorway is a tall, nine/nine pane sash window above; to the right is a full-height canted bay with string course and sill band and a window on each floor. The attic is lit by a flat-roofed dormer timber window of three lights.

The south return has paired windows to the first floor with matching keyed surround to the openings elsewhere. Between the two tall stacks is a dormer containing replacement window in uPVC in a stone, keyed surround. The rear elevation is less detailed, but has ashlar quoins and timber sash windows with ashlar lintels. The attached late-C20 single-storey extension (not of interest) has an external staircase that leads onto the roof and to a doorway in the main building. This has an early-C21 half-glazed door and toplight and is accessed from a metal staircase.

Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: (not inspected November 2019). Internal photographs from January 2020 indicate that the ground floor retains some original doors, both panelled and plain, with brass fittings and architrave, and some moulded cornices; those in the former banking hall have egg and dart detailing. There has been some internal reconfiguration. Late-C20 partitions and some doors and other joinery have been introduced. The upper floors have been converted to seven bedsits.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: around the outside of the building are low boundary walls of stone and brick surmounted by metal railings with splayed heads and supporting brackets fixed to the rear. The Station Road elevation includes pedestrian and vehicular gates. The Newbury elevation has a modern access ramp and steel handrails which are not of special interest.

Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the mid- and late-C20 extensions to the rear (south-west and south-east) and the modern steel handrails are not of special architectural or historic interest are excluded from the listing.

Sources

Books and journals
Whittingham, S, George Oatley: Architect of Bristol, (2011)
Other
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oatley, Sir George Herbert

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.

End of official listing

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