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Third New Court: sundry papers

In 1962, the bold decision was taken to rebuild New Court. Senior Partner Mr Edmund de Rothschild (1916-2009), and the Partners Evelyn (later Sir Evelyn) de Rothschild (b.1931), Mr Leopold de Rothschild (1927-2012) and Jacob (later Jacob, 4th Lord Rothschild) de Rothschild (b.1936) created a new Rothschild-owned company to undertake the development. 

The architect Fitzroy Robinson was commissioned and the contruction company Trollope & Colls were appointed to oversee the project. Fitzroy Robinson & Partners, based at Devonshire Street in London was established by Herbert Fitzroy Robinson and Harold Samuel of Land Securities. Fitzroy Robinson's appetite for work was legendary. He would regularly take a brief from the Land Securities chief away on a Friday to produce a considered design for the following Monday. Often leaving a meeting in a taxi, he would have refined and redesigned an office core plan, producing a few more precious useable square feet for his client by the time he returned to his desk. Among the major work completed by the practice in London is Angel Court; New court for NM Rothschild & Sons, bank buildings for Brown Shipley, Standard Chartered, Manufacturers Hanover Trust and Banque Nationale de Paris; the collaborative projects of the Stock Exchange and Home Office buildings and headquarters for Sun Alliance and Sedgwick Forbes and the American School. Outside the capital, he designed three regional banks for the Bank of England in Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle as well as the award-winning grandstand at Sandown Park. 

In 1962, staff said goodbye to the old New Court and left for a temporary office in City Gate House, Finsbury Square. In 1965 the staff returned to St Swithin's Lane to a building very different to that which they had left. The main building had two floors below ground and seven above, set back from the Lane, with two 3-storey wings joining the main block at right angles, arranged, in a deliberate echo of the two earlier buildings, around a central courtyard. Granite setts from the old courtyard were laid in decorative patterns in the new, and the New Court sign from the 1860 building was prominently displayed. Elsewhere in the building, historic features were incorporated inlcuding panelling from the Partners' Room and historic paintings. New features included air conditioning and a strongroom manufactured by Chubb, with Europe’s then biggest strongroom door, with a lock offering over 4,000,000,000 different combinations. The new building was the visible symbol of a trend of modernisation within the firm. The 1960s was the last decade in which the partnership operated, and in 1970 N M Rothschild & Sons became N M Rothschild & Sons Limited, with a board of directors. As business grew, extra premises were taken in Croydon to accommodate staff from administrative and accounting departments, and in 1984 an extra storey was added to New Court to create a new Board Room.

Papers relating to the buildiing of the third New Court

Regretfully, no architect's papers of the third New Court - specfications, plans, drawings etc. survive in the Archive collection, with exception of few photographs of the model of the proposed building (000/1036/1-5), together with an image of an unidentified office block, possibly designed by Fitzroy Robinson, and presumed used to show the NMR Partners an example of his work (000/818).

Two files in the XI/111 series, Special Subject Correspondence concern the building of the third New Court, XI/111/1941 and XI/111/1942 (000/2052), 'New Court Properties Ltd: Rebuilding of New Court', 1962-1972. These files include New Court Properties Ltd: Memorandum & Articles of Association, 1962 (Draft only), Conditions of Contract, May 1963, correspondence and papers concerning the rebuilding and papers of the Building Account, 1963-1972. A file in the 58 series, Special Correspondence of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (000/2703), 58/40A-F concerns the rebuilding of New Court, 1961-1965; the papers include Partners' memos, reports, correspondence with and regarding contractors, plans and photographs of furniture and other equipment considered for the new building. 

The Third New Court, sundry papers, Invitation to the opening of the third New Court, 1965

000/454/2, 1 item

Invitation from the Rothschild Partners to 'Mr and Mrs A.J.Burge' to a reception to celebrate the opening of the third New Court, St Swithin's Lane Thursday,  15 July 1965. 

The Third New Court, sundry papers, 'Farewell to New Court' events, 2007

000/1896, 7 items

Papers concerning official 'Farewell to New Court' dinner celebrations, 2007: DVD of images of Leopold de Rothschild and Senior Banking Directors' 'Farewell to New Court 1965-2008' Dinner, held 17 December 2007;  dinner invitation; autographed menu card; seating plans;list of Attendees; menu card for last official New Court Dinner, held 18 December 2007.

The Third New Court, Matthew Cook sketches and watercolours, 2007-2009

000/2025, 1 box (19 items)

A collection of nineteen sketches and watercolours of New Court, made during the period of closure, demolition and rebuilding, (2007-2009), by renowned illustrator Matthew Cook. These artworks were commissioned by Mr Anthony Chapman of NMR to record the closure and demolition of the third New Court.

  • Man seated at desk (black and white with newspaper collage);
  • Christmas (the fourth New Court site at Christmas with lights and Christmas tree, 2008; 
  • New Court Pantry Team
  • Building the core, the fourth New Court;
  • Mr Leopold de Rothschild, Study I, Mr Leopold (1927-2012) at his desk, (black and white sketch);
  • Mr Leopold de Rothschild, Study II, Mr Leopold (1927-2012) at his desk, (black and white sketch);
  • Mr Leopold de Rothschild, Mr Leopold (1927-2012) at his desk, on the telephone (black and white sketch);
  • Mr Leopold de Rothschild, Mr Leopold (1927-2012) at his desk, study in colour;
  • Demolishing the third New Court
  • Man seated at desk, arms folded above his head; 
  • Removing the Brussels Tapestry, third New Court; 
  • Office scene showing back of man and woman at desks; 
  • New Court Kitchen Team
  • Treasury Team at their desks, blue background; 
  • Structured Financial Products Team; 
  • Man in front of bank of computer screens
  • Man in office with black chairs; '
  • 'Turkey Day', [a New Court tradition], the delivering turkeys to New Court, 11 am 24 December 2007 (black and white sketch);
  • Foyer, third New Court.