The Bank

MondayClosed.

Tuesday9:30 am – 3:00 pm.

Wednesday9:30 am – 3:00 pm.

Thursday9:30 am – 3:00 pm.

Friday9:30 am – 3:00 pm.

Saturday9:30 am – 3:00 pm.

SundayClosed.

51 Bridge Street, Eltham

0274 974 900

Eltham. A town well known not only for its gourmet cheese offerings but also for its unrivalled vintage and second-hand shopping scene. The pièce de résistance of the township? The Bank: an eclectic design store and art gallery housed in a historical building on Bridge Street.


Constructed in 1916, the building originally served as Eltham’s local BNZ branch. Its neoclassical-inspired design, striking Corinthian columns, decorated ceilings, and ornate features have all been meticulously preserved, making it a standout feature along the streetscape today.


When Barbara Valintine and Mark Bellringer first stumbled upon the site back in November 2007, they were immediately smitten. The couple embarked on an extensive renovation project that went well beyond their plans of opening a vintage retail space – they intended to make this building their home too.


Mouldy ceilings were scrubbed, carpets were ripped out, opulent wallpaper was hung and luxurious chandeliers were installed. Barbara restored the courtyard garden to its former glory days, with over 40 different roses emitting their sweet scent, complemented by irises, foxgloves, fruit trees and raised vegetable beds thoughtfully planted about the space. It’s no wonder, then, that The Bank has been featured on the editorial pages of numerous lifestyle publications, as well as celebrated in regional garden festivals.


Inside the store, you’ll find – well, quite a lot actually. The Bank is home to an ever-evolving collection of wares and art, both old and new, set in a one-of-a-kind space. There’s nostalgic homewares, garden ornaments and sculptures, fashion, charming bric-a-brac, and an array of art pieces, including photographs and paintings by Mark himself. Be sure to not overlook the winding staircase tucked in the back corner, leading up to the “champagne bar” – a room full of French-inspired pieces waiting to be admired.


It’s safe to say that you won’t find anything else like The Bank in Taranaki – and very few establishments like it elsewhere in the country. Whether you’re travelling from within Aotearoa or overseas, spending an hour or two exploring this stunning emporium should be at the top of your itinerary.

Words by Maggie Worthington & Photography by Supplied

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Location

51 Bridge Street, Eltham

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