Horncastle’s Lloyds branch celebrates 200th birthday

The Capital and Counties bank in the Bull Ring which was acquired by Lloyds in 1918
The Capital and Counties bank in the Bull Ring which was acquired by Lloyds in 1918

The Horncastle branch of a major bank is celebrating its 200th ‘birthday’ today (Wednesday) - laying claims to be the oldest business in town.

Staff at Lloyds Bank were celebrating the milestone at a reception today (Wednesday).

Former staff - including managers and assistant managers - were invited to the celebration this morning and customers were offered refreshments during the rest of the day.

Current manager Richard Willoughby said he was ‘proud and delighted ‘ to celebrate 200 years.

He also pledged that the immediate future of the bank in Horncastle looks assured.

Mr Willoughby said: “It’s fantastic to be here to celebrate our 200th anniversary with our staff, former staff and customers.

“It’s amazing to think that you can trace our branch in Horncastle back so far - and to think how much things have changed over the last 200 years.

“I am pleased to say that, even with the developments in online and mobile banking, the branch has always remained here and we all look forward to continuing to serve our customers in Horncastle,.”

Fittingly, the bank is situated in part of a building which used to be the imposing ‘town house’ of Sir Joseph Banks.

The celebrated botanist - who accompanied Captain Cook on two voyages to Australia - is arguably the most famous resident in Horncastle’s history.

Sir Joseph died in 1820 - just three years after the bank started trading in Horncastle.

According to Lloyds, when it first opened, the business was called ‘ Horncastle Savings Bank’.

It was based at offices now occupied by Wilkin and Chapman solicitors in the Bull Ring.

The branch had connections with another historic local banking firm - Garfit, Claypon and Company - who opened in 1819.

Like many smaller banks, Garfit and Claypon found it difficult to compete against larger competitors and were taken over. Lloyds moved into its current premises in High Street after a merger with TSB in 2001. The branch was re-branded Lloyds in 2013.