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British Law Fire Insurance

5 Lothbury, EC2
Built:  1886
Architect:  not known
Location:  Lothbury
Listing:  Not listed

Occupying a prominent corner site at Lothbury and Moorgate/Princes Street, the building at n. 5 is articulated around the diagonal axis that intersects said corner.  The 6-bay side elevations, along Lothbury and Moorgate, are separated by a rounded corner that contains the central entrance.

The cladding of the principal three storeys, above the rusticated, granitic ground floor, is of warm-hued Bath stone.  Surface composition is limited to pilasters between each set of windows, incised window aprons and detailing of the upper window lintels.  The frieze of the cornice consists of idiosyncratic but pleasing carved spandrels alternating with diglyphs of vaguely Doric derivation. There is a further attic storey and a recessed mansard roof.

It is not clear if this was a purpose-built edifice but it was occupied by the British Law Fire Insurance Co. almost from the start.  British Law Fire Insurance was founded in 1888 with the backing of legal professionals (as the name suggests).  The company was acquired by the London Assurance and subsequently by Sun Alliance, in 1918, when it moved out of 5 Lothbury.  The building has been occupied by a succession of later tenants including Marine Midland Bank (US) and Bank Saderat (Iran).


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