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Obituary: John Bancroft (1928-2011)

Veteran Brutalist architect John Bancroft has died at the age of 82

Bancroft was well known for his work in designing a number of schools for the London County Council (LCC) architects’ department, including Pimlico School in Westminster which he recently campaigned to save from demolition.

Bancroft was born in Nottingham in 1928 and his father was a civil servant. He studied at the Nottingham School of Art before National Service where he worked as architect on housing projects for local government. In 1957 he joined London County Council (LCC) architects’ department.

Notable projects included the Westminster Pimlico School and Elliott School in Putney, which was Grade II-listed in 1992. His Brutalist annexe to London’s County Hall building completed in 1974 but was demolished five years ago to make way for a hotel designed by BUJ Architects.

Bancroft campaigned vigorously against plans to demolish Pimlico, remortgaging his home to pay his legal costs. The landmark building suffered problems from over-heating in the summer and was finally demolished to make way for a new Pimlico Academy building.

He was a member of the Twentieth Century Society and Docomomo and sat on the Victorian Society’s committee.

He married four times and is survived by his fourth wife and a daughter.


Pimlico School in Westminster

Pimlico School in Westminster


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