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© Ms Ruth Povey

IoE Number: 379378
Location: LLOYDS BANK, 53 AND 55 CORN STREET (north side)
Photographer: Ms Ruth Povey
Date Photographed: 16 March 2006
Date listed: 08 January 1959
Date of last amendment: 30 December 1994
Grade II*

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BRISTOL ST5873SE CORN STREET, Centre 901-1/11/572 (North West side) 08/01/59 Nos.53 AND 55 Lloyds Bank (Formerly Listed as: CORN STREET (North side) No.55 Lloyds Bank) GV II* Bank. 1854-58. By WB Gingell and TR Lysaght, extended early C20. Bath and Portland ashlar, roof not visible. Italian Palazzo style. 2 storeys; 6-window range. A regular, richly decorated front has relief carving to spandrels and friezes, Portland left-hand C20 entrance bay, a banded, vermiculated plinth, deep ground-floor sill band, attached ground-floor Tuscan columns to an entablature with frieze and modillion cornice, first-floor plinths to attached Ionic columns, paired over the entrance, to a larger entablature and a blocking course. Large left-hand doorway set back between pilaster jambs with a plate-glass overlight in a semicircular arch with acanthus architrave and carved head key, 53 and 55 inscribed in round spandrel panels and large acanthus consoles each side to the entablature broken forward; urns on pedestals above. Semicircular-arched ground-floor windows have blocked Ionic columns to a pulvinated frieze and cornice with a bay-leaf archivolt, set back from pilaster jambs in an outer arch with a key of bearded biblical heads; reclining allegorical figures in the spandrels, and frieze above of garlands, cartouches and horses. First-floor Venetian windows with swagged Ionic capitals and pulvinated friezes, cast-iron railings on the cills, with curved rails and finials, reclining female figures in the spandrels, carved keys of ships' prows and volutes, and a Portland frieze of children with symbols of trade and industry, and cartouches. Top cornice has fish heads, blocking course has large square urns at the ends and doorway. Plate-glass windows. INTERIOR: lobby with a hemispherical roof, Corinthian columns to a curved entablature, a semicircular arch with steps up and coffered soffit, and a flight of stairs to the left with square balusters; the banking hall is 6x5 bays articulated by paired Composite columns to an entablature set forward, semicircular arches round the side to a modillion cornice, coved ceiling beams with guilloche and a glazed ceiling; architraves betweeen the columns, with porches to each end on the W side with pilasters to an entablature; offices to the front have coffered ceilings, the former entrance leads to a circular, domed hall with paired attached columns to an arch, 3 doorways with carved consoles with festoon and lion heads to bay-leaf friezes and dentil cornice all round. Gingell was a noted designer of banks, and this is one of the finest compositions of its type in the country. Modelled on Sansovino's St Mark's Library in Venice. Thomas probably did little of the carving as he was then working on the Houses of Parliament. Cleaned and restored 1974. On the site of the Bush Tavern visited by Mr Pickwick. (Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 351; City of Bristol: City Engineer's Building Grant Plans: Bristol: 1851-: FOL 46; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 424).

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