Barclays Bank in Howardsgate

Now The Cork Public House

By Roger Filler

Barclays Bank in Howardsgate, c 1935. Now The Cork PH
Welwyn Garden City Library
The Cork Public House

Both Midland (Now HSBC) and Barclays have claimed in the past to have been the first bank in WGC and it does seem that Midland beat Barclays by a few months, mainly, I suspect, as the WGC Company had a large overdraft with Midland at the time to pay for the Lord Desborough purchase in 1920.


They were little more than sheds though and the first purpose-built bank was Barclays in Howardsgate (Now The Cork P.H.), which opened its doors for the first time on 3 June 1929. It was designed by Louis De Soissons and Arthur Kenyon and built by Welwyn Builders. For many years its manager was Mr W Washington.


The building ceased being a bank after the Howard Centre opened in 1991, when the building became a pub, first Hawkins & Co, then The Cork & Cask and now The Cork. 

What are your memories of Barclays in Howardsgate, or of any of the other banks in town? Why not log in and share your memories.

This page was added on 15/07/2009.

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  • We all see things differently. I think the Barclays building was/is suitable for its situation, and fits well with the Louis de Soissons neo-Georgian architectural theme for that part of the Garden City.

    By Robert Oakhill (02/01/2021)
  • Oh Barclays Bank was next to the Post Office on the north corner of Howardsgate bordering Parkway. Tall white concrete building with no appeal.

    By George Boston (30/10/2015)
  • There is an article in the Welwyn Times of 30 May 1929 on page 1, telling of the opening that was about to happen. It includes a photo of Mr W H Washington and an artist’s drawing of the building.

    By Susan Hall (29/10/2010)