Belfast Banking Company Limited – Branch Study Report
Gavin Bamford, Chair, History Hub Ulster writes:
My interest in old bank buildings is primarily about the former Belfast Banking Company Limited (BBCo) branches in Ireland and the area later known as Northern Ireland. The BBCo was formed in 1827 and was merged in 1970 with Northern Bank. Its southern branches were sold to the Royal Bank of Ireland in 1923.
I was lucky to find an old BBCo Property Portfolio album in the Northern Bank archives a few years ago and have made it into this short video.
The viewer will see around 68 branch photographs and will perhaps recall in their memory if the building still exists as a bank branch or now has another use. Thankfully many of the buildings in the video are in the latter category. Some (3), regrettably may be considered to be ‘at risk’ from developers e.g.: Waring Street (opened 1827), Mill Street, Ballymena (1834) and the older Magherafelt premises (1835).
Sadly, 16 of the buildings have been demolished and replaced by modern builds. These buildings include the former branches in Cookstown (opened 1835), Monaghan (1835), Portadown (1835), Strabane (1835), Larne (1836), Crossmaglen (1873), Shankill Road (1898), Kingstown (1908), Pettigo (1914), Aughnacloy (1917), Banbridge (1917), Downpatrick (1917), Kilrea (1917), Omagh (1917), Lisburn (1919) and Duncairn Gardens (1932).
Only 1 of the 68 BBCo buildings is still in use as a Northern Bank (t/a Danske Bank) branch; that is Ballymoney (1834). A few of the former southern branches may still be in operation as an AIB branch.
To conclude this short study of former Belfast Bank branch buildings, from 68 in their property portfolio, only 1 remains as a branch, 16 have been demolished, 3 are ‘at risk’ and the remaining 48 continue in another use e.g., retail, other bank, tourist office or hospitality.