A FORMER bank in Dorset has been named among the most captivating sites in the South West listed in 2020.

Historic England, a public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment and its significant buildings, has listed a number of key locations and buildings.

The historical group has rounded up its most captivating sites, ranging from health centres, coastal defences, monuments and high street buildings.

The organisation declared the former Natwest bank, based on Station Road in Gillingham, a listed Grade II building, among them due to its design and architecture.

The former bank was built in 1900-1902 to the designs of noted Bristol architect Sir George Oatley (1863-1950) for the Stuckey Banking Company Ltd, a major West Country bank.

He had carried out a number of commissions for the company as it expanded through Bristol and Somerset, including the branches in Minehead and Bridgwater, which are also listed at Grade II.

Its prominent position on a corner, eye-catching classical design and high quality craftsmanship give the building an air of grandeur were noted by Historic England.

The bank was closed by Natwest a number of years ago and remains empty.

Rebecca Barrett, regional director at Historic England in the South West said: “Every year, Historic England works to protect the most significant historic sites across the country.

“Despite the challenges that the heritage sector has faced this year, 2020 has seen many brilliant additions and revisions to the List.

“From Largin Castle in Cornwall to Swindon’s pioneering Health Hydro, we want to ensure the South West’s rich and varied cultural heritage is preserved so that the public can continue to cherish the heritage that makes their local places so special.”

A spokeswoman for Historic England encouraged people to discover listed buildings and places on their doorstep this Christmas.

She said: “Historic England is also inviting you to ‘Enrich the List’ with your photos, drawings and knowledge of England's spectacular historic places.

“Your contributions will be added to the National Heritage List which has more than 400,000 entries from tower blocks and tombstones to palaces and pigsties, castles and cathedrals.

“You don't need to be an expert to enrich the List. Welcome additions might include children’s drawings or a budding photographer’s images.”

More information can be found at https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list