Basic Site Details

Name: National Bank of Scotland, Dumfries Branch
Town, district or village: Dumfries
City or county: Dumfriesshire
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: This bank building replaced earlier premises on the same site.

National Bank, Dumfries.A new handsome building for the Dumfries branch of the National Bank, erected on the site of the premises formerly occupied by the bank, near the foot of Bank Street, has reached such a stage of completion that for the last few weeks the business of the branch has been transacted within its walls, though a good deal of work still remains to be done in the interior. The building has been constructed from designs and plans furnished by Mr. Alexander Fraser, architect. Dumfries, and will cost, when finished, about 2,500. The stone of which the edifice is built is the red sandstone of the district. The frontage of the building towards Bank Street is 40 feet in length, but at the back the length is 70 feet, the building extending upwards for about thirty feet at the back of the Custom House. The height of the building in front is 45 feet. The exterior of the edifice is in the Italian style, and the carved enrichments on the front have been executed by Mr. William Flint, stone-carver, Dumfries, who has been occupied on the work for four or five months. The vermiculated work on the first storey is a novelty in our street architecture, but the effect is good, and in keeping with the rest of the designs. The entrance doorway is arched, with pilasters on each side, forming a door piece, and the top moulding of which, as also the architrave and spandrels formed by the arch, are furnished with carved foliage, mostly designed by Mr. Flint, and in which the rose, the thistle, and shamrock are conspicuous. The second storey embraces four windows, baring pilasters at each side and surmounted with some beautifully-executed ornamentation in stone work. In the panels over these four windows the carver has introduced the designs which give a character to the whole of the front of the building. The panel over the window above the entrance door is appropriated to the figure of St Michael, the patron saint of Dumfries, and the corresponding panel over the outer window at the other end of the building to that of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland - the inscription on each being the 'National Bank of Scotland.' The two centre panels are filled in with shields, quartered, with stars and fleur de lis upon them, and bearing the date of the erection, 1862. The spandrels formed by each of these panels are filled in with carved foliage the leaves of the hop and the marsh mallow; the currant and the vine; the maple and the ivy; the rose and the shamrock, etc. The carving of the foliage on the various parts of these windows, and also on the other portions of the elevation, is not executed in the conventional form common to the Italian style of architecture, but in close imitation of nature. The building is finished with a dentilled cornice surmounted by an open balustrade. The mason work was contracted for and executed by Messrs Crackston and Son, and the joiner work by Messrs Grierson and Son. The other contractors wire Messrs Adair, slater; Drummond, plumber; Fraser, plasterer; and Aitken, glazier. [Building News 4 July 1862 pp15-16]

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Bank  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1Bank StreetYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 518611862Construction 
Item 2 of 521 March 1861  Plans approved
Item 3 of 59 May 1861  Estimates totalling 2066 accepted
Item 4 of 513 November 1862  new premises completed
Item 5 of 520 May 1895  Plans for alterations to be prepared, 550


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 3Alexander FraserArchitect 18611862Original building
Item 2 of 3Alexander LorimerArchitectA1895 Alterations and repairs - probably involved, as chief assistant to T P Marwick
Item 3 of 3Thomas Purves MarwickArchitectA1895 Alterations and repairs, 550.


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 1National Bank of Scotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 2Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 2Gifford, John1996Dumfries and Galloway (The Buildings of Scotland)  p275

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Building News4 July 1862  pp15-16

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 3Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register26088 
Item 2 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers Alexander Lorimer: L v19 no1425 (various branches of National Bank of Scotland around Scotland)
Item 3 of 3Royal Bank of Scotland Group ArchivesNational Bank Board Minutes 21 March 1861, 9 May 1861, 13 November 1862, 20 May 1895, 31 July 1895