The Northern Banking Company was founded in Belfast in 1824. This was a time when Belfast was beginning to change from a small market town into the great commercial and industrial city it was to become by the end of the century. As the Irish rural economy prospered, banks expanded their branch network throughout most of the century, especially from the late 1840s to the mid-1870s.
Plans for new premises in Portglenone were drawn up in 1910 but construction was postponed by the First World War (1914-1918). The new bank, a modification of two adjoining buildings, opened for business on 14th June 1920.
The building is plain in style, without any ostentation or decoration that might be seen as a misuse of depositors' money, yet it is sufficiently substantial to convey an air of confidence and reliability. The banking premises and the adjoining Manager's house are both lit by gas.
The Bank Manager occupied a position of some importance in the commercial and financial life of the town and district. The first Manager of the Northern Bank in Portglenone was Mr Thomas Edwin James, who held the position from 1920 until his retirement in 1926.
Replica, location of original: Main Street, Portglenone, County Antrim
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