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Number 1, Bank Buildings

A Grade II Listed Building in Hastings, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8559 / 50°51'21"N

Longitude: 0.5798 / 0°34'47"E

OS Eastings: 581675

OS Northings: 109437

OS Grid: TQ816094

Mapcode National: GBR PXB.9DF

Mapcode Global: FRA D63V.1Q0

Plus Code: 9F22VH4H+9W

Entry Name: Number 1, Bank Buildings

Listing Date: 19 April 2023

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1484035

ID on this website: 101484035

Location: Hastings, East Sussex, TN34

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Castle

Built-Up Area: Hastings

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex


A bank of around 1857 for the London and County Bank, constructed by John Howell & Son of Hastings, (architect unknown), extended in the earlier C20.


A bank of around 1857 for the London and County Bank, constructed by John Howell & Son of Hastings, (architect unknown), extended in the earlier C20.
MATERIALS: constructed of stone with timber or metal windows.
PLAN: originally with twin entrances to the street, one to the west into the banking hall and the other to the east leading to the bank chambers on the upper floors. The side extension has its own entrance.
EXTERIOR: the symmetrical front elevation is neo-classical in style and faces south onto Havelock Road. It is of four storeys and five bays. The ground floor has rusticated masonry and three C20 metal windows to the centre with aprons and metal bank fittings. The window tops are separated by rectangular mouldings, above which is a modern banking fascia beneath a fluted band decorated with patera. The flanking bays contain the entrances which have a pair of three-panel, solid doors under a rectangular fanlight, set within a substantial moulded architrave carrying the inscribed text 'Bank' or 'Bank Chambers' on the head. The architraves are surmounted by stone balconies which appear to be of C20 date and have columnar balusters and are supported by decorative console brackets.
The upper floors are recessed to the centre where they contain a giant order of four fluted columns with Ionic capitals under a cornice. The windows are multi-pane sashes in moulded architraves; square headed under flat heads to the first floor and round-headed with keystones to the second floor. The first floor windows are fronted by iron balconies. The projecting side bays follow the window pattern but have narrower rustication and the windows are recessed with a concave fillet. The top floor has multi-pane casements under segmental arches, surmounted by a dentil band, moulded cornice and balustrade.
The two-bay extension is faced in ashlar stone and is designed in a stripped classical style. It has a modern, metal and granite bank front to the ground floor. To the right side there is a solid door of eight panels, decorated with a circular motif. The first floor has tall, metal-framed windows above a fluted cill band and the second floor has similar but shorter fenestration, above rectangular aprons. The top floor stands above a plain cornice and has segmentally headed multi-pane casements under a plain parapet.
INTERIOR: the banking hall has a lowered ceiling and modern finishes to all the visible walls and partitions. The original interior scheme may survive behind. The bank chambers, upper floors and extension, were not inspected.


The town of Hastings has been a strategic point of defence from invasion since the medieval period and a protective wall was erected in the early 1300s. In 1337 the town was twice attacked by the French and badly damaged. Up until around 1800, there were two main streets (High Street and All Saints Street), both of which were inside the defences.
The threat from France continued throughout the early 1800s and the Duke of Wellington commanded a garrison of around 12,000 troops from a headquarters in the High Street. Nevertheless, by around 1794, Hastings began to develop as a seaside resort with the publication of a printed guidebook and the development of Marine Parade. In the mid-C19, the wealthy businessman Patrick Robertson (1807-1885) leased the crown lands of the town for 99 years at a rate of £500 per year. In 1850 he commenced construction of a grand scheme of terraces and municipal buildings, located across Robertson Street, Carlisle Parade and Robertson Terrace.
The railway arrived in the same year and during the C19, the population of Hastings grew from around 3,000 to 65,000. During the Second World War, the town was bombed several times resulting in the death of around 154 people and the damage or total destruction of some 15,000 buildings. Post-war, the town remained a popular holiday destination until the advent of cheap foreign travel in the later C20. Falling visitor numbers were exacerbated by the decline of the town’s small trades and industries.
Number 1 Bank Buildings probably dates from around 1857, as General Havelock died in that year and the street to the front was renamed as a result. It was built for the London and County Bank and constructed by John Howell (1825-1893). He is known to have worked with S S Teulon and E A Wyon, but the architect for the bank is unknown. Howell managed the leading building company in Hastings and built many churches and public buildings, eventually becoming the Mayor of Hastings around 1878.
The London and County Bank had formerly been established as the Surrey, Kent and Sussex Banking Company before its name was changed in 1839. The business acquired limited liability in 1866 and merged with the London & Westminster Bank in 1909 to form the London, County & Westminster Bank. Natwest was created in 1968 by the merger of National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank.
Planning documents (detail unreadable) refer to proposed alterations in 1866. Detailed plans dated 1904 record layout changes to the bullion room. Structural plans from 1923 refer to a rebuild of the facade due to the original being out of plumb, but the detail is limited to the design of a steel frame. Around this time the bank was extended to the west side in a stripped classical style and the scheme probably included a re-design to the ground floor of the original facade, with the addition of metal windows, stone architraves and the balconies above. In the later C20, banking fixtures such as ATMs and access ramps have been added.

Reasons for Listing

The Natwest bank, Hastings, of around 1857, built for the London and County Bank and constructed by John Howell & Son of Hastings and extended in the earlier C20, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
Architectural interest:
* as a good example of a mid-C19 town bank, which has a grand classical facade dominated by a giant order of fluted Ionic columns and includes rusticated and richly-detailed stonework;
* the door heads retain their inscribed signage detailing the functions of the bank and bank chambers.
Historic interest:
* as a representative bank of the London and County Bank, illustrating a period of much commercial expansion for the company and banking in general, during the early to mid-C19.
Group value:
* with the adjacent, contemporary Havelock Public House of around 1857 (listed at Grade II, reference 1268280).

External Links

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