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Consolidated Banknotes
Currency Commission Ireland 1929-1941
Eight Types



Ploughman ten poundsView Irish banknote images


Ploughman Notes

Eight Types, by Bank. Consolidated Notes



The Consolidated Banknote issue was created as a means to replace the banknotes in circulation in the Irish Free State, issued by the six Irish Joint Stock banks that had the right of note issue under British rule. However, the Consolidated note issue extended this right to all eight Joint Stock commercial banks operating within the Irish Free State.

The remaining bank, The Belfast Banking company, which had issued Old Notes prior to 1929, withdrew from the Irish Free State, selling all its branches to the Royal Bank of Ireland.

Consolidated Banknotes were regulated by the Currency Commission, and were never Legal Tender, merely a promise to pay such.

The Central Bank Act, 1942 established the The Central Bank of Ireland in place of the Currency Commission and provided for the withdrawal of the right of note issue from the commercial banks, leaving the A Series Legal Tender Notes the only notes issued in Ireland.

The Consolidated Banknote issue commenced in 1929 and ceased on 31.12.53 when the total aggregate amount permissible of notes of all the banks reached zero after a steady period of reduction.


Ploughman Specimen Notes: Linked Picture Pages

Ploughman Note Proofs
Currency Commission Ploughman Specimen Notes
Thomas De La Rue Ploughman Specimen Notes


Currency Commission Ireland Consolidated Banknotes: Dimensions in millimetres


Note: the dimensions tended to vary by a few millimetres, depending on the cut.

£1 Note, 151 x 84; £5 Note, 165 x 92 mm;

£10 Note, 191 x 108 mm; £20 Note, 203 x 114 mm;

£50 Note, 203 x 114 mm; £100 Note, 203 x 114 mm.


Consolidated Ploughman notes: Watermarks


Consolidated banknotes were printed on watermarked paper, with four watermarks on each banknote.

On £1, £5, and £10 notes the watermarks consisted of a harp, the denomination, CBN acronym, and shamrock, as illustrated below.

The watermarks on £20, £50, and £100 denominations were similar, but with a second instance of CBN in place of the denomination.

Ploughman note watermarks
Watermarks on a Ploughman One Pound note



Original allocation of Irish Ploughman notes per bank


The figures for the amount allocated to each of the Associated Banks were as follows:

The Bank of Ireland Ltd. £1,760,000
The Hibernian Bank Ltd. £439,000
The Munster & Leinster Bank Ltd. £852,000
The National Bank Ltd. £1,365,000
The Northern Bank Ltd. £243,000
The Provincial Bank of Ireland Ltd. £649,000
The Royal Bank of Ireland Ltd. £273,000
The Ulster Bank Ltd. £419,000

Total £6,000,000


Relative rarities of Ploughman notes


Relative rarities of the denominations of the banks with respect to each other. This relative rarity indicator is based on the results of the Ploughman Scan Survey results.


£1: BoI <<< Nat < M&L < (RB) = PBI < HiB < UB << Nor
£5: (Nat) < PBI = [BoI] = M&L = HiB < UB < RB < Nor
£10: [M&L] = PBI = Nat < HiB < UB = RB < BoI << Nor

The Ploughman Scan Survey is a continuous survey the scope of which is to record all the surviving Ploughman notes. Reports on the progress of PSS are posted over on the site forum.

Royal Bank £1 notes and National Bank £5 notes are of equivalent rarity, and Bank of Ireland £5 notes are of equivalent rarity to Munster and Leinster Bank £10 notes.

Bank of Ireland £1 notes are by far the most common notes, accounting for 18% of all Ploughman notes seen, and 29% of all £1 notes recorded. By far the rarest of all Ploughman notes by type is the Northern Bank £10 note.


Below, for comparison are the same relative rarities as determined in 2002.

relative scarcity of Ploughman notes


Ploughman 10Ploughman 5 poundsPloughman Pound
Ploughman 100Ploughman 50Ploughman 20

Plowman 100 PoundsPlowman 50 PoundsPlowman 20 Pounds
Plowman 5 Pound notePlowman One Pound


Ploughman Note Proofs
Currency Commission Ploughman Specimen Notes
Thomas De La Rue Ploughman Specimen Notes

View by Type: 8 Banks

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