I love old banks like this. It was all about showing off, showing the capital that was behind them and making the impression they would be around forever. This particular example could rival Chatsworth for the intricacy of it's interior details. Masters of scalpel and chisel were employed on the creation of this building's interior.Opened 1906 this Grade II Listed building was built for Manchester & County Bank by architects Mills and Murgatroyd. The branch was the second branch in Oldham.
In 1970 Manchester & County Bank was taken over by NatWest and the building, therefore, became a NatWest branch.
The building is built of stone, polished red granite and has a baroque copper-crowned tower.
In 1995 NatWest merged there Yorkshire Street branch with the Oldham Mumps branch and the building closed.
I've wanted to see this place for ages, and finding myself in the area with some time to kill I decided to have a poke about. I'm glad I did! The banking hall is incredibly impressive, both in size and opulence, the whole affair being decorated with marble slabs. The main entrance door is enormous, and is too decorated in marble with a huge portico sat atop matching pillars. Each door is beautifully carved with a different crest, I believe with reference to the bank and the county of Lancashire.
Upon walking in the customer would have been greeted with a huge mosaic featuring the bank's crest, and around the banking hall sections of mosaic still exist, although the removal of the desks and kiosks has left the floor patchy.
I was also rather impressed with the building's spiral staircase, which was lined with tiles for almost it's entire span, not something I've come across before.
I did find the tower a bit of a let down, as it's amazing wooden staircase essentially led to nothing, not even a view!
Not sure what will become of it... I always find Oldham an awkward place to navigate, which I put down to poor town planning. The bank looms to be stuck on a little island of nothingness in the middle of tram lines and roads, so I can't see it ever living up to it's potential, but I guess we'll see...
There were about eight or ten of these carved door panels, all different.
That is one hell of a kick plate!
I thought it interesting that the right hand shield is the same crest as the floor in Cavendish house at Whittingham.
Glass, iron and tile,
The entrance vestibule was nothing short of stunning. I really don't think it needed that strip light, like ever.
Note the Art Nouveau glass, very similar indeed to the glass in Prudential Assurance across town.
Staff toilets originally
Tiled staircase, and note the gas lamp.
I would assume this was the bank manager's office once.