About Smyth Patterson

Smyth Patterson Ltd is one of Northern Ireland’s best known department stores. Based in Lisburn’s Market Square, we have been at the centre of commerce in the city since opening in 1936.

Adam Smyth Patterson (1898 – 1949), was the 8th of a family of 10 children.  His father, Thomas James Patterson, was one of four, and orphaned at a very young age. 

Adam Smyth Patterson 1898-1949

Smyth took responsibility for the family home when his older brothers left home to seek work. Two emigrated to Australia, two to Canada and one to the USA. Three served their country during the First World War in France.  Fortunately, they survived.

In 1925, Smyth married Mary Elizabeth Wilson & bought Homra House at Corrys Glen, Ballyhomra near Ravarnette. Four children were born to them; Jean, Maureen, Harold & Hubert. 

Smyth’s first venture into the business world began in 1926 buying & selling farm produce to the markets in Belfast.  This was the time of the horse and cart, and each morning he left home at 4:00am to be in Belfast in time for the markets.  He recalled the problems that sometimes occurred on the way, such as the wheel falling off the cart.  He overcame every obstacle and was eventually in a position to purchase a Ford One Ton lorry, then able to buy and export potatoes to England.  They were shipped from Killough in Co. Down, where he was able to buy a warehouse.  A few years later he purchased a second store at Ravenscroft Avenue in Belfast.  By this time, he was shipping seed potatoes to Cyprus, and hay and straw to Liverpool and Manchester.  He bought a second lorry and took on his first employee, Thomas Carlisle.

At Ballyhomra, he built a house with a yard, and began farming. This enabled him to expand into contract work for other farmers. His ingenuity showed when he dammed the river and, using a huge water wheel, generated electricity to power a grinding machine for wheat. At night a sluice gate, which started the water wheel, was opened by a cable and pulley system connected to the house, providing electricity for the house and pumping water to a pig house.

He opened his first shop at Smithfield in Lisburn, and Margaret McCann came to work for him. The shop sold all sorts of hardware items. In 1936, he moved his business to larger premises at 18 Market Square where the shop is situated today.  He continued to work closely with other farmers, and began selling animal feeds.

Opening Announcement – On 21st December 1936 the shop was opened in Market Square

The store in Market Square

During the 1940s, family members Jean, Maureen, Harold and Hubert, and their cousin Day, started working in the company. They were joined by Wesley McCracken & Helen Alexander.

Smyth died in 1949 after a short illness. Harold and Hubert, in their late teens, were left with the responsibility of running the business.  They set about selling the farm and other properties, just keeping the premises in Market Square. Here they developed the premises further as builders’ merchants along with agricultural supplies. Over the years, many of these items were dropped in favour of the homewares now sold.

Smyth Patterson Lorry in early years

Today the business is carried on by Colin Patterson, grandson of the founder, Adam Smyth Patterson. Smyth Patterson sell an extensive range of furniture, upholstery, beds, electrical appliances, gift & homewares & are now one of the leading retailers in the area.

Smyth Patterson store front December 2015

Many visitors to our shop are regular customers who view us as "family". We hope that your internet shopping experience is as successful & pleasant & you become "regulars" too. We welcome comments on your shopping experience and encourage you to register to receive emails with up-to-date information on new products and great offers.

Smyth Patterson - 028 9266 2707
18 Market Square North
Co. Antrim
BT28 1AF
Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 9266 2707
Fax: 028 9260 1367
Mon: 9am - 5:30pm
Tue: 9am - 5:30pm
Wed: 9am - 5:30pm
Thu: 9am - 5:30pm
Fri: 9am - 5:30pm
Sat: 9am - 5:30pm
Sun: Closed

Company Registration: NI 1910
Place of Registration: Northern Ireland
VAT No. GB 251872847

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