In 1810 a Savings Bank was founded in Alnwick, by local worthies, for which they purchased a small house in Narrowgate. It had, according to Tate in 1848, “always been regarded as a safe place for the investment of the savings of the industrial classes; and hence the number of depositors has been considerable, evidencing also the thrifty habits of the people in the district”.
In the 1820s other banking in Alnwick was handled by agents of banks based elsewhere.
- Joseph Hardy, at 18 Narrowgate, was the local agent for the Tweed Bank. This bank failed when three of the partners were declared bankrupt in 1841 . The partners had some previous history, as they had earlier been involved in another failed bank before going on to form the Tweed bank.
- At 39 Fenkle Street, Edward Stamp was agent for the Newcastle Bank. He had taken over from Thomas Ferguson, who had previously operated in the Market-place.
In 1835 the Savings Bank commissioned the building at 11 Narrowgate. As the bank grew it moved to larger premises in St. Michael’s Lane and remained there until, after an armed robbery in the 1980s, when they moved into what had been the Globe Inn at 31-33 Bondgate Within. The bank subsequently became part of the Trustee Savings Bank, which merged with Lloyds Bank to form Lloyds TSB Group in 1995.
The Northumberland and Durham District Bank, formed in 1836 with Head Office in Newcastle built a branch at 27 Fenkle Street. In 1857, shortly after presenting accounts which showed “a very prosperous state of things“, the bank collapsed. It had to apply for assistance from the Bank of England, and as they could not give a satisfactory account of their true position, their request was refused. It emerged that in reality their declared assets were of dubious value, and liabilities in the region of £3m. When they became insolvent they were the principal bank in Alnwick, and it was reported by the Alnwick Mercury on 1st December 1857 that the Northumberland and Durham District Bank “…was the principal, nearly the only [bank], which did any business in this town, and enjoyed the utmost confidence. The gentry of the district, the tradesmen of the town and almost every person in the neighbourhood dealt with it; and its sudden and unexpected suspension will cause extensive embarrassment and distress“.
The building was taken over by Lambton & Co. which had been established in 1788, and was otherwise known as the ‘Bank in Newcastle’ the ‘Bank of the Coal Trade’, because of its substantial connections with coal mining, and or ‘Nabobs’ Bank’ because of connections with India. It merged with Lloyds bank in 1908, but appears separately in 1910 directory of banks in Alnwick.
The Alnwick and District Bank was founded by William Dickson and William Woods in May, 1858, taking advantage of the collapse of the Northumberland & Durham District Bank in the previous year. Subsequently taken over by the North Eastern Banking Company (1875), it opened a new branch at 26 Bondgate Within. Subsequently, the bank became Bank of Liverpool (1914), Martins Bank Limited (1928), and Barclays Bank Limited (1969).
Consolidation in the 20th century result in a few large groups
- Woods and Company was founded in Newcastle in 1859. They opened an Alnwick branch in 1875. They joined the new Barclays Bank combination of banks in August 1897.
- In 1908 Lloyds Bank took over the Lambton Bank, building a new branch on Bondgate Within.
- In 1910 the London Joint Stock Bank opened an Alnwick branch at 30 Bondgate Within, then evolved into the Midland Bank, then HSBC, which finally closed in 2017.
- The North-Eastern Banking company became part of Martins before being taken over by Barclays
Northern Templar and General Permanent Benefit Building Society, of Newcastle upon Tyne opened an Alnwick Branch in 1874. The Branch Manager was George Small, in Howick Street.