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Bank buildings by Sir Robert Taylor, 1766 and 1802 (10)

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Sir Rober Taylor built two blocks of commerical offices across the street from the Bank, 1764-68. The Bank of England purchased the land in 1764, assisted by an Act of Parliament, and improved and widened the street before erecting the office blocks. Robert Taylor oversaw the negotiations with landlords and tenants for both acquiring the land and, once the buildings were constructed, managing the leases to new tenants. Soane was later given these responsibilities.

The two blocks were situated on either side of the new Bank Street. The buildings' exteriors were designed a style similar to Taylor's screen wall of the Bank. Construction began in 1764, conducted by the builder Edward Gray. The eastern block was finished in 1766. It consisted of four ground floor units, each at four storeys, and had two public coffee houses and a purpose-built unit for the Sun Fire Office. The other block was completed in May 1769 and consisted of six units. The first leases for this unit were for banking firms and other finance related businesses.

As surveyor to the Bank of England, Soane was responsible for maintenance and repairs, as well as the Bank's other properties. He kept the Bank directors up to date regarding the buildings' tenants and leases, such as the renewal of the Sun Fire Office's lease in 1799.

Literature: D. Abramson, Money's architecture: The building of the Bank of England, 1731-1833, Doctoral thesis for the Department of Fine Arts, Harvard University, 1993. pp. 248-251; A.T. Bolton, The Works of Sir John Soane, 1924, pp. 32-34.

Madeleine Helmer, 2010



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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 Bank buildings by Sir Robert Taylor, 1766 and 1802 (10)