The Ulster Bank (co-ordinates 54.27250 -8.47400) is a fine detached five-bay two-storey sandstone ashlar classically-styled bank, was designed by James Hamilton architects of Belfast and Glasgow and was built in 1863.
One of the more notable features of this building, which occupies its commanding position at this busy junction in Stephen Street is its rich ashlar Scottish sandstone.
The appearance of the building is enlivened by the high quality stone masonry which has decorative artistic detailing. The bank is significant, attesting to the prosperity of Sligo town in the late nineteenth century.
the Ulster Bank building was ‘bombed to ruins’ during the Irish Civil War but was rebuilt soon after.
In front of the Ulster Bank stands Sligo‘s most popular, and most photographed tourist attraction. A statue depicting the world-renowned poet William Butler Yeats ‘wrapt in his words’.
This much-loved statue, built by artist Rowan Gillespie was erected in this “most obvious place” in 1989, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of William Butler Yeats by the people of Sligo Town.
When receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature from the King of Sweden in 1924, William Butler Yeats commented that the Stockholm Royal Palace reminded him of the Ulster Bank in Sligo Town.
Leave William Butler Yeats‘s statue, by looking at the front of the bank and walking a short distance up the side road to the right of the bank. This is Holborn Street, one of Sligo‘s oldest streets, where we can see on Number 5 (on the right hand side of the road) a plaque remembering another very different famous figure, this house has very strong connections with the formative years of the world famous comedian Spike Milligan.