Belfast Bank in Coleraine - an Oxymoron?

Download this image

More from this collection

Related by When

Related by Where

Support Pastpin!

Where: 17 Bridge St, Coleraine BT52 1DR, UK

When: Unknown

Though the doors are shut, we're going to the bank today - in the hope that we will get (a) some old money and (b) goods at the prices that prevailed when this image was taken. The Belfast Bank in Coleraine was a substantial building. And, judging by the curtains on the first floor, the bank's manager lived in the building - as was the practice until relatively recently.

Incredible detail was added on the main subject of this image, with a general consensus that the image dates to within a few years of the bank's completion between 1892 & 1894. As noted in the comments, the Belfast Bank was not limited to the province's principal city, with branches throughout the region. The Belfast Banking Company itself was seemingly founded in the 1820s and taken-over by Midland Bank, merging with the now more familiar Northern Bank in the 1970s....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1880-1900. Though likely mid/late 1890s

NLI Ref: L_ROY_04969

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8416
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland belfastbank coleraine countyderry countylondonderry residence menandboys standingaround cornerboys ulster thediamond corporationarmshotel hotel bank seedmerchant bishops

Add Tags
  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:20:21

    Building is dated 1892-94 per the DIA

  • profile
  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:24:10

    Here's how it looked in 1990 for contrast.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:29:28

    Streetmap lets us down today, but I think this is Santander bank now.

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:31:35

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] That would match with it being Abbey National in 1990, according to wikipedia.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:36:59

    Pic of Santander bank, the Diamond, Coleraine

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:52:24

    There are some other images of the bank, perhaps taken a decade or so after this French shot, in this write-up on those employees of the bank who lost their lives in the Great War. Seemingly there's a memorial to those Belfast Banking Company members in St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. According to various sources, including Wikipedia, the Belfast Banking Company was founded in 1826, had branches around Ulster (Belfast, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Derry, Ballymena, Lurgan, Dungannon, Cookstown, Armagh, Banbridge), was bought by Midland Bank in 1917, and merged with its Northern Bank subsidiary in the 1960s/70s. The bank were issuing their own notes in the 1940s however.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:55:29

    Looking in the 1901 census, there is one bank beside a hotel, and the bank manager is William John McMurray

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:58:05

    Lennon-Wylie 1901 street directory agrees: Belfast Bank Ltd., Diamond - W. J. McMurray, manager; S. Evans, cashier; J. Hezlett, accountant; A. Thompson, assistant; J. Camac, assistant.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 17/Jan/2017 09:58:23

    Thanks all. So unusual not to have the (almost always otherwise ubiquitous) StreetView :) If we could see the StreetView, does it seem likely that it would confirm that the "BISHO...." signage on the right would be "Bishops"? Who have seemingly had a footwear business on the site since the 1840s? I guess the Corporation Arms Hotel is unlikely to help with dating either....

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 10:02:00

    Belfast Bank was on the Diamond in 1892 as well according to the street directory at PRONI, but I don't know if it was this building or not. 1890 too, and back to 1884.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 17/Jan/2017 10:10:07

    I think the bank building looks almost new; unstained by dog, pigeon, and the weather. And Mrs McMurray's plantings at street level and on the balcony are flourishing. Which one of those corner boys smashed the gas lamp glass ?

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 10:18:07

    More on the building here, date of 1894.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 10:21:57

    At right, we see a shop front beginning in BISHO, which must surely be BISHOP. No Bishop in the 1901 census on the Diamond, but there is an Ellen Bishop who runs a boot warehouse living on the Portstewart road... Yes, there she is in the 1901 street directory: Bishop, Mrs., boot and shoe shop, Diamond Mrs. Bishop is no good for an early date, she was there in 1884, nor a late date - in 1907 son James has taken over.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 10:41:07

    The Corporation Arms, prop A. Magee, is advertising in the 1895 directory, but no sign in 1892.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 10:47:31

    I think 1894 is a good early date for the bank building, 2 sources (although they might be connected behind the scenes). Not sure how solid 1900 is as a latest date, but I agree the building looks fresh. So 1895-1900?

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 10:48:40

    The building at left of the Hotel looks rather 1900ish. I can read SEED MERCHANT in one window, WHOLESALE GROCER in another, but the 1901 census suggests William Hay, Draper. He is in the 1895 street directory, too, and 1907.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 17/Jan/2017 11:42:19

    Mr Hay the seed merchant !!

  • profile

    robinparkes

    • 17/Jan/2017 12:38:14

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] It definitely is Bishops Shoe Shop. I've walked past it many times.

  • profile

    philipgmayer

    • 17/Jan/2017 13:09:16

    It's more likely that the "Keeper" (Caretaker) lived on the premises.

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 17/Jan/2017 14:51:58

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] I had also noted SEED MERCHANT in the right-hand window, and WHOLESALE in the centre window (but couldn't make out the other word for certain). This collated set of Coleraine street directories lists a few "seed merchants" on the Diamond over the years. Including an : - 1864 entry for D. & R. Taylor listing both wholesale and retail premises, with the former on the Diamond, and described as "Family Grocers & Seed Merchants". 1864 is likely a little early though. - 1894 entry for Daniel Gailey, whose "Flax & Flax Seed Merchant & Insurance Agent" business was on the Diamond. - 1921 and 1932 entries for R Boyd who ran a "Grocer & Seed Merchant" from the Diamond. As with [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] and others, I think we're looking at the bank building when almost new. Certainly the roof looks spanking new when compared to the (likely original/Georgian period) roof of the hotel next door. I also vote for mid/late 1890s.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 15:15:07

    I am a bit dubious about that seed merchants shop - it looks more like a post-1900 building than a pre-1900 building to me. The Bank, Hotel and Bishops all remained in place through the 1930s.

  • profile

    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 17/Jan/2017 15:29:18

    Can anyone confirm when such relatively large panes of glass became popular (as in the Bank and the Hotel)?

  • profile

    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 17/Jan/2017 15:32:16

    Aha - good explanation here - www.wychavon.gov.uk/documents/10586/157693/wdc-planning-h....

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jan/2017 17:01:35

    Oooh, check out the Historic Buildings Database entry!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 17/Jan/2017 23:28:54

    Thanks all - Seems to be a general consensus that we're within a few years of the buildings completion in 1894! Description/tags/etc all updated, and have mapped to the same spot as the broader shot of the Diamond (which may well date from the same period) www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/9265719553/

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Jan/2017 06:12:49

    [Edit: wrong!! see lower down] The broader shot is some years earlier: there is a building with a pitched roof and two shops where our seed merchants building stands. The quoins on the Hotel building are different, and the mystery cast-iron archy thing the beachcomber notes is missing.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 18/Jan/2017 07:01:32

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] [My 2 cents] - isn't the "broader shot" of the opposite corner, towards the north-east? See shadows, position of Town Hall tower etc. Golly, how I miss streetview when it is not there! The "mystery cast-iron archy thing" is also in this photo - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000338199 - I think it must be a florid sign for the Commercial Arms Hotel. Also see the broken gas lamp on the corner. But not Mrs McMurray's garden on the balcony!

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 18/Jan/2017 09:41:14

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] I have to admit that I was confused yesterday also when you noted that the bank building was different in this shot. As [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] notes, it looks the same to me (same windows, same gable frontage, same "balcony" adornment on the first floor, etc). As with [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] I think that ironwork is "just" a sign. You can pretty much make-out the word "hotel" on the lower edge. While it might have been used to keep rain/drain-water away from the foot of the building, I'd say it's just an elaborate sign (maybe the trainstation or some other source of foottraffic was down that direction...?)

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Jan/2017 13:06:48

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] [https:[email protected]] You are right - I was looking in the wrong corner!

  • profile

    regonemccabe

    • 18/Jan/2017 23:31:04

    Belfast Bank Branch on Dame St Dublin now The Bank pub

  • profile

    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 25/Jan/2017 03:51:30

    Same bank in the corporate family as this photo we saw before www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/21819484282/

  • profile

    Canadian Pacific

    • 22/Feb/2017 15:59:24

    Nice historic image of the old bank.