Mosley Street

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Manchester, Royal Bank of Scotland, Mosley Street

We start on Mosley Street with the Royal Bank of Scotland,, between York Street and Spring Gardens. The first block is by Edward Walters, his last great work, for the Manchester and Salford Bank in 1862. Walters' assurance shines through. Two-storied rusticated giant pilasters below, so that the pedimented piano nobileGlossary Term windows are on the second floor. Here giant angled pilasters point to the pinched-in corners of the very emphatic corniceGlossary Term which is topped by a balustrade punctuated by big stone urns and corner chimneys. The top part draws the whole composition together, balancing the strength of the ground floor rusticationGlossary Term. To the left of the lower entrance block a matching extension of the 1880s by Walters' successors, Barker & Ellis. The latest extension, 1975, Harry S. Fairhurst & Son, has simply treated openings palely following the 19th century rhythms.



Flat-topped ledge with moulded underside, projecting along the top of a building or feature, especially as the highest member of the classical entablature. Also the decorative moulding in the angle between wall and ceiling. An eaves cornice overhangs the edge of a roof.

Piano nobile

(Italian): Principal floor of a classical building, above a ground floor or basement and with a lesser storey overhead.


Exaggerated treatment of masonry to give an effect of strength. The joints are usually recessed, by V-section chamfering or square-section channelling (channelled rustication). Banded rustication has only the horizontal joints emphasized. The faces may be flat, but can be diamond-faced, like shallow pyramids, vermiculated, with a stylized texture like worm-casts, and glacial, like icicles or stalactites (also called frost-work). Rusticated columns may have their shafts treated in any of these ways.