New Court

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New Court
(Rothschild Bank)
The Fourth Incarnation of Rothschild's New Court
New Court is located in Greater London
New Court
Location within Greater London
General information
LocationLondon, England
Coordinates51°30′44″N 0°5′20″W / 51.51222°N 0.08889°W / 51.51222; -0.08889Coordinates: 51°30′44″N 0°5′20″W / 51.51222°N 0.08889°W / 51.51222; -0.08889
Design and construction
ArchitectRem Koolhaas
Office for Metropolitan Architecture

New Court (also known as The Rothschild Headquarters) is a collection of proximate buildings in London having served as the global headquarters of the Rothschild investment bank since 1809.[2] The current building is the fourth incarnation of the Rothschild offices at the same street address. Until 2004, the world price of gold was fixed daily at this building.

1809 to 1868: First incarnation and early history[edit]

After leaving Frankfurt, Nathan Mayer Rothschild needed a location where he could build his banking business and continue his merchant activities as well as house his family. Rothschild acquired the lease to New Court No. 2 for £750 in 1809 at an annual rate of £150.[3] The location of the building was selected in part due to its proximity to the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England.

In 1816 at New Court, Nathan Mayer Rothschild and company formed Alliance Assurance Company (later becoming Royal & Sun Alliance, and today known as RSA Insurance Group)."[4]

1868 to 1962: Second incarnation[edit]

Lionel de Rothschild (who had succeeded his father Nathan in 1838 as head of the firm) hired architect Thomas Marsh Nelson to design a building "intended for magnificent business."[5]

In 1899, Rothschild refitted New Court with electricity and acquired St Swithin's Lane No 7 for £8,000.

Beginning of gold fixing[edit]

In 1919, on the 12th of September, New Court became the location where the global price of gold was fixed. Every day at 11:00am, the price of gold was set in a special room. By 1968, a second fixing time was added at 3:00pm to correspond with the opening of the American commodity markets.

First World War[edit]

To allow for bank operations during the war, air-raid resistant shelters were constructed within New Court.

Second World War[edit]

During WWII, The Rothschild bank moved much of its staff to Nathan's estate at Tring Park, as the distance was farther out of harms way during the Battle of Britain.[5] In a 1941 Nazi air raid, St Swithin's Lane was struck with many buildings erupting in uncontrollable flames. The buildings adjacent to New Court burned and suffered extensive damage, but New Court remained unharmed.

1962 to 2011: Third incarnation[edit]

As the firm continued to see growth, it again outgrew New Court. Although the idea of extending the buildings vertically was posed, it was ultimately decided by Edmund Leopold de Rothschild, Evelyn de Rothschild, Leopold de Rothschild, and Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild to develop a new office. Rothschild chose Fitzroy Robinson of Trollope & Colls as architect.[6]

After three years of construction, New Court reopened in 1965. The building included the largest bank vault door in Europe with over four billion combinations.

End of gold fixing[edit]

In 2004, Rothschild announced that it would no longer hold its permanent chairmanship of the global gold fixing market. Since Rothschild withdrew from this line of business, the price of gold has no longer been fixed in person.

2011 to present: Fourth incarnation[edit]

By the early twenty-first century, the Rothschild Bank had again outgrown the buildings and in 2008[7] the decision was made to raze the buildings for a fourth time and build anew. Acclaimed architect Rem Koolhaas of OMA was selected to design the new headquarters for Rothschild. It is said that he drew inspiration from the Medici's (a powerful European banking dynasty from the renaissance) architecture in Italy.[7]


  1. ^ "New Court Rothschild Bank OMA - Office for Metropolitan Architecture". World-Architects. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Exhibitions ‹ Rothschild Timeline :: The Rothschild Archive". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  3. ^ "New Court, City of London, England | Rothschild Family". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  4. ^ "History of 'The Alliance': The Rothschild Archive". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  5. ^ a b "The second New Court: The Rothschild Archive". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  6. ^ "The third New Court: The Rothschild Archive". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  7. ^ a b "The fourth New Court: The Rothschild Archive". Retrieved 2019-05-19.