Liverpool Union Bank (1)
43 - 47 Bold Street Liverpool L1

Picture by Pat Neill
 
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Designer: G.E. Grayson
 

This 1885 Italianate palace of commerce was designed to have independent shops on either side of the central doorway. The doorway led through to the banking hall behind. Above the doorway is a lunette containing a rather grand carving of Neptune and a nereid, both fish- tailed above the waves, flanking a tablet in which a pair of predatory looking liver birds are binding fasces (in Roman symbolism fasces are bundles of rods, sometimes with a protruding axe head, carried by a lictor or magistrate and representing power and authority). Below the birds is a banner bearing the legend Vis Unita Fortior, Together We Are Stronger. The Liverpool Union Bank was taken over by Lloyd's Bank who had a branch almost opposite (on the corner of Slater Street) which was designed by G.E. Grayson's son G.H. Grayson together with Leonard Barnish 35 years later.

Sources:
Pevsner Architectural Guides; Liverpool by Joseph Sharples
The Little Book Of Liver Birds by David Cottrell
The Oxford English Reference Dictionary

Alan Maycock 2008

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