gidgee guesthouse - bourke accommodation details old london bank - bourke native plant nursery photo gallery contact details and links

old london bank

We acknowledge the traditional owners of this land who are the Ngemba or Nyammba people

THE RECENTLY RESTORED OLD LONDON BANK

Bourke's first land sale was the site of this building in 1862. The London Chartered Bank of Bourke was built around 1887/8 and opened in 1889, the manager being Mr W B R Gledhill. The bank was amalgamated with the ES&A bank in 1927.

The Gidgee Guesthouse is situated on the site of the state heritage listed Old London Bank built in 1888. Heritage architect, Barbara Hickson, observed that, “The former London Bank is an important and rare example of the opulent building that derived from Bourke’s boom period as an important inland river port”.

The accommodation wing surrounds a large courtyard, with all rooms opening onto the lawn and gardens. Built in 1938 by the Tancred Bros, the wing’s rooms still retain a heritage style.

  bank restoration  

Chris Ware, Kristie Smiles, Chris and Simone Von Woerkom and Peter McCallum formed a partnership in 2001 and proceeded to renovate and restore the building. Due to the effects of bad drainage, neglect, termite damage and highly reactive soil movement there was extensive damage to most of the bank building and the accommodation wing including the fact that the whole of the southern 2 story verandah had fallen to the street in 2000 (just before the Queen visited Bourke) and this verandah had to be reinstated. Chris Ware did most of the restoration including welding all the broken cast iron columns and balustrade back together.

Five years on most of the major restoration has been completed to the specified charters of state heritage buildings. Many talented tradesmen have also been involved with the restoration: Keith Grosse and family, Rod Burton, plasterer Kerry Marten, plus Willie Edwards. It is a never ending job but it is great to have the grand old dame somewhat nearer to her glory days.

The London Bank is listed on the State Heritage List and has a permanent conservation order.

  old london bank renovations  

gidgee guesthouse - bourke accommodation details old london bank - bourke native plant nursery photo gallery contact details and links

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