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1 King William Street: sundry papers

The rebuilding of New Court in the 1960s provided much-needed improvements but, NMR continued to grow. The acquisition of the adjoining properties, Nos. 1 and 10, and the move of many departments to Croydon for a period eased the situation, but by the 1990s NMR was occupying a number  of buildings in and around the Lane.

In 1996 Chetwynd House in St Swithin's Lane was demolished by its owners to make way for a new building, incorporating both the Chetwynd site and the building to its north, fronting King William Street and originally built in 1921 to house the offices of Cater-Ryder, a private bank. (Cater-Ryder  traces its history back to a bank founded in Blackburn in 1816. In 1981, after its purchase of Allen, Harvey and Ross, it was known as Cater-Allen; it was purchased in 1997 by Abbey National. The architects of the 1921 Cater-Ryder building were Campbell-Jones & Smithers. They had used the triangular shape of the site to advantage, focusing at ground-floor level on a striking Entrance Hall, with a lofty moulded ceiling supported by marble pillars.

In 1997, following negotiations with the owners and developers, the Royal & Sun Alliance Property Group, NMR took up the option of occupying the whole of this new site, providing 92,000 square feet of space, capable of housing 500 staff. This was an opportunity for consolidation. The new building was topped out in April 1997. Fitting out followed and the first staff occupied the site late in 1998. The building’s principal occupants were the Investment Banking Division of NMR and Rothschild Asset Management, and The Rothschild Archive (Reading Room, office and Archive storage in the basement). The interiors echoed the style of the New Court building opposite in such features as its widespread use of marble and its lighting. The 1920s style of the Cater-Ryder building was respected and reinforced with, for example, an Italian tessellated marble floor in the former 'Insurance Hall'.

New Court was rebuilt for the fourth time between 2008-2011, and in 2011 Rothschild relinquished its lease on 1 King William Street.

1 King William Street, architect's drawing, c.1997

000/2497, 1 item

Framed coloured architectural drawing of 1 King William Street. 

1, King William Street, architect's report, 1997

000/1385, 1 item

Architectural Design Report produced by Harper MacKay Ltd. for N M Rothschild & Sons Ltd concerning 1. King William Street, London EC4.

1, King William Street, photographs of building work, 1996-1997

000/821, 000/850, 000/881, 73 items

Images showing the demolition and re-construction of 1 King William Street and building work at New Court in 1996; sets of colour photographs taken from crane during the building of 1 King William Street. 

1, King William Street, 'Topping Out' ceremony, photographs, 1997

000/812, 2 items

Photographs of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022), Chairman NMR, ‘Topping Out’ the 1 King William Street building, 5 April 1997.

1, St Swithin's Lane, 'Topping Out' ceremony, trowel and photograph album, 2001

000/969, 000/1008, 2 items

NMR premises at 1 King William Street were further extended in 2001 and premises at the adjacent 1, St Swithin's Lane were remodelled. 

  • photograph album and loose photographs (with a key to persons present) of the Topping Out ceremony at No 1 St Swithin’s Lane, 5 April 2001. The images were taken by NMR Corporate Affairs Department and feature Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022) and invited guests (all in hard hats). Sir Evelyn is shown 'topping out' the building and being presented with with a silver ceremonial  trowel;
  • silver ceremonial trowel in blue case, presented to Sir Evelyn de Rothschild at the Topping Out ceremony for No. 1 St Swithin's Lane, 5 April 2001.

1 King William Street, marketing materials, 2003

000/1261, 1 item

Promotional Brochure for 2nd floor offices of 1 King William Street, produced by Knight Frank, 2003.