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Date published: 20 December 2022
Photo: Google, DigitalGlobe
The former Union Bank of Manchester – now Barclays – in Heywood
The former Union Bank of Manchester in Heywood has been added to the National Heritage List for England this year.
The bank – now a Barclays branch – was built in 1909 in a robust Edwardian Baroque style and is now a Grade-II listed building.
Historic England says the building is “a distinctive early 20th century bank which conveys the confidence and reliability of the Edwardian banking industry.”
It adds: “The Heywood Advertiser of 27 November 1909 described it as 'a commodious and convenient banking house… with good cellars, and a capital suite of offices above the bank, and the elevations have been so contrived that the attentive observer in the street would not be able to discover that the site is not square.'”
The Union Bank of Manchester was founded in Manchester in 1836, later expanded into neighbouring towns including Heywood.
The bank in Heywood was built to designs by J D and S J Mould of Bury and London, and constructed by Samuel Barker of Heywood.
The Union Bank of Manchester was subsequently affiliated with Barclays Bank in 1919, though the two banks continued to operate separately until 1940 when the Union Bank was fully incorporated into Barclays.
The building was built opposite the parish church on a wedge-shaped site at the corner of Church Street and Hind Hill Street.
The public entrance on Church Street led into a vestibule from which the manager’s office could be entered, with the banking hall beyond. A service lift took books and bullion to the basement strong room. The office entrance and staircase were placed at the southern end of the Hind Hill Street elevation. The counter, screens of the manager’s room, dados, etc were of polished walnut, and the floors of the public spaces were tiled.
A historic photograph shows that the leaded domes to the two corner turrets were topped by vertical flag poles and had pinnacles to the corner pilasters, which are no longer present.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “The variety of listings this year illustrates the rich diversity of our shared heritage and the importance of everyday places – from an Edwardian Bank to a London cab shelter, to a 19th century watermill – that make up the fascinating fabric of our past.
“Places like these create distinctiveness and make us proud of where we live. Listing recognises their value so they are protected for the future and everyone can continue to enjoy them.
“In England, 99% of us live less than a mile from a listed site and the festive season is a great time to find out more about the historic places on our doorsteps.
“We’re inviting everyone to help enrich the list, by sharing their knowledge and pictures of listed places to help expand our shared understanding and perhaps even unlock some of the secrets of the past.”
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