History in Structure

Equitable House

A Grade II Listed Building in Greenwich, London

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Latitude: 51.4904 / 51°29'25"N

Longitude: 0.0686 / 0°4'6"E

OS Eastings: 543708

OS Northings: 178852

OS Grid: TQ437788

Mapcode National: GBR NJ.XML

Mapcode Global: VHHNK.4SLV

Plus Code: 9F32F3R9+4C

Entry Name: Equitable House

Listing Date: 7 August 2001

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1389382

English Heritage Legacy ID: 488040

Also known as: Equitable House, Woolwich

ID on this website: 101389382

Location: Woolwich, Greenwich, London, SE18

County: London

District: Greenwich

Electoral Ward/Division: Woolwich Riverside

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Greenwich

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Woolwich St Mary Magdalene with St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

Tagged with: Building

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North Woolwich


786/20/10140 Woolwich
07-AUG-01 Equitable House


Building Society Headquarters, 1935. (Lionel U.) Grace and (W. G.) Farmer, architects. Thomas & Edge, Ltd, contractors. Portland stone walls, Westmoreland slate tile roof. Three-storey-plus-attic range of 11 bays with central entrance and prominent two corner site.

PLAN: Rectangular range with main and corner entrance to General Gordon Place. Main entrance to central banking hall. Offices to side wings at each floor with later internal partitions or open plan. Panelled offices above entrance at first floor; panelled Board Room above entrance at second floor.

FACADE: 3 storeys of Portland Stone with mansard roof of Westmoreland slate tile. Central projecting portal in Baroque Deco style with pairs of columns framing openings. Five bays of windows to each side. Rusticated plinth at ground floor. Keystones at ground floor windows. Double brass panelled doors to main and side entrances with 'EQUITABLE HOUSE' in serif capitals over. First and second floors plain stone with recessed metal-framed multi-pane windows. Streamline wings motif at facade- with human face to main entrance and owl face to side entrance. Projecting cornice above second floor with parapet. Secondary corner entrance with broken segmental-arch pediment at ground floor. Double-height window in curved corner portal with clock and parapet.

INTERIOR: Entrance and Banking Hall of Hopton Wood stone walls, coursed and polished Derbyshire fossil skirting. Double-height entrance hall with semi-circular windows at first floor to outside and offices above. Niche at both sides, each with historical panels framed in Derbyshire fossil, and deco-style brass vent. Steps up to double-height Banking Hall defined by square piers with blank wall and windows above. Dentil moulding and shallow classical detail to piers, walls and entablature. Tray ceiling with large glass panel with brass Greek-key and deco ornament. First Floor offices panelled in wood with deco detail. Second floor Board Room in panelled oak carved in floral motif to top and at doors. Three staircases. Vaults and storage in basement with separate staff entrance.

HISTORY: Woolwich Equitable Building Society founded in 1847 and this was their headquarters after moving from Powis Street also in Woolwich. The left-hand side of the building was leased to National Westminster bank and remains under separate tenancy at time of inspection (April 2001). It is a handsome and monumental building of solid neo-classicism that inspired customers' confidence and also expressed modernity with elegant Deco detailing throughout.

SOURCES: Berry Ritchie, We're With the Woolwich 1847-1997: The Story of the Woolwich Building Society. James & James, 1997.

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