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Buildings Sculpture

Bainbridge Building

I bet most of you have never noticed this above a door at the top of Norfolk Street. This carved panel is on the old Halifax Bank at the corner of Surrey Street. The building was commissioned by Emerson Bainbridge, a mining engineer consultant and philanthropist, following the death of his wife, Jeffie.

It was erected as a memorial to her and opened by the Duke and Duchess of Portland in 1894.

The first floor formed a shelter for waifs and strays, and a large suite of offices on the second floor were given to the local branch of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, of which Bainbridge was a committee member.

The ground floor consisted of shops that were let out to tenants in order to raise revenue to support the rent-free premises above.

The sculptor is unknown, but the architect was John Dodsley Webster, who also designed the Gladstone Buildings next to the Cathedral.