from : "The City of Grafton" a
1981 CRHS Publication.
COMMERCIAL BANKING COMPANY OF SYDNEY
first bank in Grafton was the Australian Joint Stock Bank,
followed by the Bank of N.S.W. and later by the Commercial
Banking Company of Sydney which set up its banking chamber
in the Lion Hotel (now site of Commonwealth
Bank), in 1874.
Later the bank moved into premises in Prince Street then
known as the Muirhead Buildings.
to new gold rushes on the Clarence in the early 1870’s
the banking businesses boomed. The Banking Companies were
encouraged to erect new banks. All were very grand and
impressive buildings for their day, especially for country
branches. The Bank of N.S.W. and the AustralianJoint Stock
Bank were later demolished but the fine Commercial Banking
Company of Sydney still stands today.
Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney building was designed
by a Sydney firm and features pillars, carved stone and
iron lace work. The interior fittings are of beautifully
carved wood and were designed by Mr. T. A. Rudd, the first
manager of the bank in Grafton. The building contractor
was Mr. William Kinnear, who also had the contracts for
the Bank of N.S.W. and the Grafton Post Office about the
same time and is reputed to have used local sandstone in
all these buildings. The bank was built on a ‘platform’ above
the height of the 1876 flood but unfortunately the 1890
flood rose to a record height and went into the bank itself
to a depth of about 65 cm.
the building was nearing completion in January 1879 a fire
gutted the Muirhead Buildings and the bank staff was forced
to move into the new banking premises earlier than expected.
1980-1 this building was restored to its former glory.