Financial headquarters in the city, 1850-1914

Drawing of headquarters of first London and Westminster Bank

The project investigates a sample of the first generation of large-scale headquarters erected for banks and other institutions in the financial district of the City of London. The following set of questions is asked of each building: How was each site assembled and what tenurial arrangements prevailed? Which architects were commissioned to design these new palatial head offices, and why were they chosen? What extent were particular conscious architectural elements incorporated into their designs? Who built the offices, what materials were chosen andhow much did each building cots? How were these property developments financed and to what extent were speculative elements, such as building extra lettable office space, incorporated into both financial and physical planning?


Iain S. Black, 'The London agency system in English banking, 1780-1825', London Journal 21 (1996), pp. 112-30; Iain S. Black, 'Symbolic Capital: the London and Westminster Bank headquarters, 1836-38', Landscape Research, 21 (1996), 55-72; I.S. Black, 'Rebuilding the heart of the empire: financial headquarters in the City of London 1919-1939', in D. Arnold (ed.), The metropolis and its image: constructing identities for London, c.1750-1950 (Oxford, 1999), p. 127-52; Iain S. Black, 'Spaces of capital: bank office building in the City of London, 1830-1870', Journal of Historical Geography, 26 (2000), 351-75; Iain S. Black, ‘Private banking in London’s West end, 1750-1830’, London Journal 28.1 (2003), 29-59.


CMH Annual Report 1990-1, Tenth Anniversary Conference paper

Project details

Researcher: Iain Black, B.A., Ph.D.
Funded by: Barclays Bank plc, National Westminster Bank plc, Sun Alliance Group, and The Guardian Royal Exchange Charitable Trust (1 January 1991-30 June 1991)
Amount Awarded: £12,750