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Random Fact Of The Week

Bank Y Llong AberystwythDid you know……

The first ever bank in the history of Aberystwyth was set up in the early 1760′s at No 43 Bridge Street.

Known locally as the ‘Ship Bank’ (Bank Y Llong in Welsh) it was actually part of the Aberystwyth and Cardiganshire Bank, and as the name suggests it served the gorwing number of ships in the harbour.

The bank was set up after the moving of Custom House from Aberdyfi to Aberystwyth, Previously all ships leaving Aberystwyth must have had clearance from the Custom House, which was 11 miles south of the town. The need to have the correct paperwork, and pay custom duties on imports and exports made it more feasable for ships to by pass Aberystwyth and head straight for Aberdyfi where things could be processed much faster. As the Aberystwyth harbour grew, a local petition forced the move away from Aberdyfi to Aberystwyth, and this in turn increased the number of ships which used the port.

The banks name stems from the ornate carving of a merchant ship, which adnored all its bank notes. One of these original bank notes is available to view in the Ceredigion Museum on Terrace Road in Aberystwyth.

The original bank building, a three storey Georgian Town House with beqautiful corniced eaves still stands today. The building itself was owned by the Powell family of Nanteos Mansion, and was as such leased to the bank and its partners. In around 1864 the North And South Wales Bank took over from the Ship Bank, and moved to a new premises of New Street. In turn this bank moved to new offices in 1885, at the south end of Great Darkgate Street. In 1908 this became the London, City And Midland bank.

Two further banks set up on Bridge Street after the Ship Bank. Firstly the Aberystwyth And Tregaron Bank in the early 1800s, with its famous ‘Black Sheep’ bank notes, some of which now sit in the Ceredigion and British Museums, and secondly the Aberystwyth Provident Bank For Savings, although very little of this bank is known.

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