Peterborough

Peterborough is a city in England. NatWest traces its heritage there back to 1838.

National Provincial Bank

NatWest’s Peterborough branch first opened as an office of National Provincial Bank of England in April 1838. Its original address is not known, but it was probably in either Priestgate or Narrow Street.

The branch flourished, and by the 1860s needed new premises. When in 1861 the local bank Yorke & Co failed, not only did a number of its customers transfer their accounts to the National Provincial Bank of England branch, but National Provincial also took the opportunity to purchase the failed bank’s premises at 13 Narrow Street. A new branch building was erected on the site, designed by Hine & Evans of Nottingham and built by Mr Young of Lincoln, to which the bank’s business relocated in June 1862.

Into the 20th century

Harder times were on the horizon. The First World War placed heavy new demands on banks, not least the challenges of carrying on business with a much-depleted staff, as men of military age joined the armed forces. One man from Peterborough branch was killed on active service in France in May 1918.

In 1929 a Parliamentary Bill was passed to widen Narrow Street. The works involved the demolition of a number of properties, including the National Provincial branch. A new site was found in Cathedral Square where a purpose-built branch office was erected by local firm Messrs Thompson.

Westminster Bank

In 1919 London County Westminster & Parr's Bank, itself later to become part of NatWest, opened a branch in Peterborough. The branch was initially located in Westgate, in premises formerly occupied by Capital & Counties Bank, but in 1932 the branch's manager informed head office that the building was too cramped for business. At around the same time the Corporation of Peterborough was planning to erect new municipal buildings on Bridge Street, and in 1933 the bank reached an agreement to lease part of the new premises. Designed by E Berry Webber, also known for designing Manchester Art Gallery and Southampton Civic Centre, the new buildings were completed in 1934.

National Westminster Bank

In 1970 National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank, along with National Provincial's subsidiary District Bank, merged to create NatWest. The new bank gradually began rationalising its presence in areas where it had multiple offices in close proximity, and in January 1976 the business of both of its Peterborough branches was brought together in the former National Provincial premises on Cathedral Square.