Parks, leisure and the arts Upper King Street Conservation Area

Upper King Street and its buildings today

King Street is on a gentle slope, and this enhances the grandeur of its buildings. There is a rich variety, from the intricately detailed Gothic tracery of the Manchester Club to the stark mechanical precision of Pall Mall Court. Some new buildings, including these, are of very high quality and are satisfactory neighbours to the richly-detailed stonework of earlier times.

Some of the oldest buildings in the conservation area are the warehouses on Mosley Street in the Italian Palazzo style. One, at nos.14-16, was designed by Edward Walters for Richard Cobden. It was the first of many Manchester warehouses built in this style.

The most important building in the conservation area , and the oldest in King Street, is the Trustee Savings Bank at no. 82. It was originally the Manchester branch of the Bank of England. It was designed by Charles R. Cockerel in the Classical style, and has a dignity and grandeur far in excess of its modest size. Its large semi-circular arched windows are echoed in the Midland Bank higher up the street.

This is a much plainer building designed in 1929 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the last great exponent of the Classical style. It is a large construction in Portland stone, an unusual building material for Manchester. Also built of Portland stone, Lloyd's Bank on the corner of Cross Street was designed by Charles Heathcote in 1913. In a very elaborate Baroque style, it is alive with sculptures and rich detailing.

Along Market Street, buildings are not considered to be of such high architectural merit. Nevertheless, some are fine buildings, dating from mid-Victorian times to the present day. They contrast sharply with the bland facade of the Arndale Centre opposite.

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