- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The Bristol branch of the Bank of England was opened on 12 July 1827 with John May as agent. The bank house was occupied by Robert Morris, the sub-agent. Substantial interior alterations were required in order to convert the premises into a functioning bank (drawings 23-28). Complaints from the sub-agent Robert Morris about the 'great inconvenience' he suffered 'in consequence of St Peter's Hospital, which includes many lunatic patients, being separated by a court of only about 6 feet wide from the back part of the branch bank' was remedied with the stopping up of some windows in the hospital (drawings 30-32).
In 1848, the branches at Gloucester and Bristol were consolidated and moved into a new building at 13-14 Broad Street, Bristol designed by Soane's successor as Architect for the Bank of England, C.R. Cockerell (1788-1863). This building still stands and is listed Grade I. The old bank branch premises on Bridge Street remained unoccupied until 1852, when they were leased to a Mrs Hollins, who converted the property into the 'Bank Hotel'. This building was subsequently destroyed during the blitz in November 1940.
A map of Bristol in the Soane collection (SM 57a/3/3), dated 'June 1st 1825', has been amended to show the locations of the various premises considered for the branch bank. Properties surveyed are added or shaded in pen.
W. Marston Acres, The Bank of England from Within, 1694-1900, Vol. II, 1931, pp. 433 & 565-73; A. Foyle and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Somerset: North and Bristol, 2011, p. 286; English Heritage, Former Bank of England, Bristol, <www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk>
Tom Drysdale, February 2013
Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).
Contents of Bristol: Bank of England branch: survey drawings, designs for alterations and related documents for eight premises including the selected one in Bridge Street, 1826-1827 (32)
- Survey drawings of Messrs Pitt, Powell and Fripps' premises, Bridge Parade (5)
- Survey drawing of Messrs Jacques' premises, St Stephen's Avenue
- Survey drawings of Messrs Stuckey & Co.'s premises, Broad Quay (3)
- Survey drawings of No. 49 Queen Square
- Survey drawings of Mr Jacques' premises, Broad Quay (2)
- Survey drawings of Mr Fargus' premises, Clare Street, with memorandum (3)
- Survey drawings of Mr Prichard's premises, High Street (3)
- Survey drawings of Mr John Gardiner's premises, Bridge Street, October 1826 (2)
- Survey drawing of Mr Gardiner's premises, Bridge Street
- Site plan of proposed branch bank, Bridge Street
- Design for alterations to the Bank of England branch, Bridge Street, unexecuted
- Designs for alterations to the Bank of England branch, Bridge Street, as executed, February 1827 (5)
- Design for iron railings for the front of the branch bank, Bridge Street
- Later survey drawings and further designs for alterations to the Bank of England branch, Bridge Street, August 1827 (3)