Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Former Newbury Midland Bank, in Mansion House Street, to become luxury flats





People pass the town centre building every day — but do they know what history it holds?

Situated on the corner of Bridge Street and Mansion House Street — which links Northbrook Street to Market Place — the building has seen multiple functions including a bicycle shop, a bank and a women’s fashion outlet.

What lies beneath the streets of Newbury?
What lies beneath the streets of Newbury?

Now owned by Newbury engineer, Arif Goksel, its future is set to change again.

Mr Goksel gave newburytoday a behind-the-scenes tour of the former Midland Bank at 1-3 Mansion House Street, which he began converting into four luxury flats last summer.

Street facing flat undergoing renovation
Street facing flat undergoing renovation

He confirmed a bakery chain will be occupying the ground floor.

And work on the property is almost complete.

New owner, Arif Goksel, standing in one his flats being renovated
New owner, Arif Goksel, standing in one his flats being renovated

Besides restoring original wooden beams and window frames, the building’s historic integrity has been maintained, Mr Goksel told newburytoday, who added that certain rooms had been closed off for decades.

And some do not even feature on original blueprints — likely for security reasons.

A view of Bartholomew Street from the front facing flat
A view of Bartholomew Street from the front facing flat

The four-foot walls and labyrinthian network of corridors echo the building’s past use.

The underground vault chamber lies below the level of the River Kennet.

It is built from solid concrete and steel and contains two safes.

One two historic steel vaults to be used for storage
One two historic steel vaults to be used for storage
One two historic steel vaults to remain intact
One two historic steel vaults to remain intact

An original lift remains, once used to ferry ledgers, deed boxes and similar items to the offices upstairs.

Mr Goksel confirmed the vaults will remain in situ since removing them is impractical — and risks harming the entire structure.

Into the thick steel vaults housed underground — below river level
Into the thick steel vaults housed underground — below river level

The Midland Bank opened on July 25, 1921.

It had moved from premises at 30 Cheap Street, which had grown too crowded for the workers.

It was first opened by the Metropolitan Bank in 1906 and absorbed by the London Joint City and Midland Bank by the end of 1914.

Opening of the London Joint City and Midland Bank — once billed as the largest bank in the world — in the Newbury Weekly News, dated July 1921
Opening of the London Joint City and Midland Bank — once billed as the largest bank in the world — in the Newbury Weekly News, dated July 1921

Midland Bank later became HSBC.

The branch remained until about 2007, when it relocated to 6 Northbrook Street.

After this, the main occupier was fashion retailer, Phase 8.

One of four luxury flats undergoing renovation
One of four luxury flats undergoing renovation

Newbury historian, David Peacock, who chairs The Newbury Society, elaborated on the site’s earlier history.

“In the mid-19th century, this site was occupied by Canning & Co Linendrapers, which introduced the building’s distinctive rounded corner during reconstruction in 1879,” he said.

A rear view of 1-3 Mansion House Street from by the River Kennet
A rear view of 1-3 Mansion House Street from by the River Kennet

“Early in the 20th century, these premises were occupied by Wheelers Cycles, a company which evolved into Wheelers Garage, where Aldi is now.”

The building’s lower ceiling was heightened once it became a bank, changing its external appearance.

1-3 Mansion House Street, formerly Midland Bank
1-3 Mansion House Street, formerly Midland Bank

The building is sometimes confused with the Mansion House.

The Mansion House, or Old Town Hall, was built opposite in 1742 and demolished in 1909.

The current Newbury Town Hall partly stands on this old site.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More