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"Bank Buildings" Top 5 Page for this destination Ulster Bank Building Tip by suvanki

Ulster Bank Building, Belfast: 2 reviews and 3 photos

  The Bank Buildings (Primark)
by suvanki
  • The Bank Buildings (Primark) - Belfast
      The Bank Buildings (Primark)
    by suvanki
  • Bank Buildings - Belfast

This red brick former bank is now home to the Primark shop.

I think the red and white barriers were put up to stop me going on a shopping frenzy at Primarni!!! Well even though I could have picked up some mega bargains here-I was on a strict budget... so I resisted!

The bank was known as The Bank of the Four Johns. Why? Because its 4 founders were all called John!

It was built between 1899-1900 by W H Lynn (who also created Belfasts Central Library) and constructed over 5 stories, with a red sandstone exterior. Its name comes from Cunninghams Bank, which was founded on this site in 1787 and closed in 1798 due to an economic disaster.

By the early 1900's the bank again fell on hard times and closed, with the building then became the home for a short time to one Reverend Dr. William Dickson, who was the Bishop of Down & Connor.

By 1805 the building was converted into a shop. I'm not sure of what type of shop-nor am I sure if it was profitable-The area in front of this store being the place where criminals were executed! - a practice that went on until 1816. (The last public executions in Belfast (of this period and type) took place here- being 3 weavers, who had a grievance with Francis Johnston-their employer, over their wages, which led them to attack his home).
By 1840 this area was known as Castle Place.

In 1853, the building then became a wholesale drapers store. The founders being William Robertson, Henry Hawkins, J C Ledlie, and Robert Ferguson. These were all established businessmen, so the company soon expanded and flourished as a commercial department store.
By 1900, a refurbishment had taken place. The store operated as a shop on 2 floors (Large windows were installed in these lower floors, with the design by W H Lynn) the upper floors were used as a wholesale Warehouse.

The next stage of the buildings history was when the House of Fraser group bought out the company, which was subsequently taken over by Boots (the chemists) until 1975.
The reason that Boots moved out, was that on the 9th April 3 bombs exploded in the building, with extensive damage being caused to the structure.

It wasn't until 1979 that the building was refurbished, then a year and a half later Primark took over from where Boots left off.

Address: Now Primark. 27 Castle St, Belfast BT1 1BL

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 17, 2009
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