The Bank Of England Museum

The Bank Of England Museum Gold, banknotes and over 300 years of history...see it all come to life through our displays, exhibitions, events and talks. The Bank of England is the United Kingdom’s central bank.
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It has a unique role in our economy, promoting the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability. However our Museum is about much more than money! Discover the history of the Bank, its buildings, and the people who have shaped it over more than 300 years.

Operating as usual

How much do you know about a Christmas sixpence? It's a tradition that was apparently brought to Britain by Prince Alber...
22/12/2020

How much do you know about a Christmas sixpence? It's a tradition that was apparently brought to Britain by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.
When making a Christmas pudding, a silver sixpence would be put in the mix and everyone would give the mix a stir. Apparently, if you found the sixpence in your piece of the pudding you could take it as a sign of wealth and good luck in the year to come. Sadly, there isn't a banknote equivalent - I imagine everyone would be very confused if they found a £5 banknote in the pudding!
📸: silver sixpence, 1839 with Queen Victoria on the obverse (from our collection, and sadly not taken from a pudding!)

#OTD in 1918, King George V and Queen Mary visited the Bank of England where they printed the first nomination war bond ...
18/12/2020

#OTD in 1918, King George V and Queen Mary visited the Bank of England where they printed the first nomination war bond in the Printing Works. Crowds of staff turned out to greet them as we can see through this wonderful series of photographs which record the visit 102 years ago. #BoEArchive

'Tis the season where we start thinking of panto! This flashnote for Her Majesty's Theatre in London was used to adverti...
15/12/2020

'Tis the season where we start thinking of panto! This flashnote for Her Majesty's Theatre in London was used to advertise performances of the Lion and Unicorn. Not a play we've heard of before - what do you think it was about? (Bonus points for not saying about a lion and a unicorn...) 🦁🦄 #numismatics #lovetheatre

We're celebrating the world of communication today with the 'History Begins at Home' team! Communication doesn't just ha...
11/12/2020

We're celebrating the world of communication today with the 'History Begins at Home' team! Communication doesn't just have to be based on technology - what about some good old-fashioned signage from the mid-twentieth century!? These signs in the Bank of England Front Hall in 1945 clearly directed customers the way to the Loan Office to buy war bonds during #WW2! #BoEArchive

Happy 1st December everyone! I'm sure like the rest of us, you now have #Christmas on the brain - let the countdown begi...
01/12/2020

Happy 1st December everyone! I'm sure like the rest of us, you now have #Christmas on the brain - let the countdown begin! 🎄
This lovely cartoon is by former staff member Danny Denahy. He was well known for his fantastic artworks, which often featured Gatekeepers and have this lovely cheerful style to them. This one ended up being the official Christmas card for the Bank one year. Not entirely sure why there is a gold bar hanging mid air - but delightful nonetheless!

'History Begins at Home' are celebrating all memories associated with home comforts this week! Being away from home can ...
18/11/2020

'History Begins at Home' are celebrating all memories associated with home comforts this week! Being away from home can certainly make you want to recreate that homely atmosphere, and that can be seen perfectly in this photograph taken in c.1942 during the Bank's Second World War evacuation. Shared dormitories would have been difficult to personalise, but looking very closely, you might be able to spot the family photographs on the bedside shelf, the art hanging from the lamp, and the books and sports equipment scattered around the room. Familiar items from home that helped to make the space as welcoming for staff as possible! #HBAHHome #BoEArchive

Happy Friday everyone! Do you have a movie on your list for enjoying this weekend? Bank staff that evacuated during the ...
13/11/2020

Happy Friday everyone! Do you have a movie on your list for enjoying this weekend? Bank staff that evacuated during the Second World War were lucky to be able to enjoy a film night too at the Hurstbourne camp in Hampshire! We don't have a clue what they were watching in 1942 though - is anyone able to take a guess from this still!?

29/10/2020
Make your own banknote

Sadly, it's the end of half-term but don't worry, we still have plenty of fun activities for families to do! Have you had a look at our banknote workshop exercise from artist Brenda Coyle? She shows you how you can design and make your own banknote at home. Share your works and tag us! 💷 🖌️

We recently added this film poster to our collection. The Day They Robbed the Bank of England was released in 1960 and s...
27/10/2020

We recently added this film poster to our collection. The Day They Robbed the Bank of England was released in 1960 and starred Aldo Ray, Elizabeth Sellars and Peter O'Toole. The film was based off a novel by John Brophy and is a classic crime caper!
Fancy checking it out? The fabulous Warner Archive Collection have posted a clip on their YouTube channel - which you can view here: https://b-o-e.uk/3mxDmOl

On this day in 1805, Horatio Nelson died at Cape Trafalgar, Spain. Did you know he was a holder of 3% consolidated annui...
21/10/2020

On this day in 1805, Horatio Nelson died at Cape Trafalgar, Spain. Did you know he was a holder of 3% consolidated annuities? This Letter of Attorney surviving in the Bank of England Archive authorises his attorney to accept any future stock transfers or interest payments on Nelson's behalf. Dated 17 October 1797, it even includes Nelson's own signature! #BoEArchive

17/10/2020
Bank Restriction Note

Why is Britannia shown eating a child on this imitation banknote? This note was designed by George Cruikshank as a protest against the harsh penalties for forging banknotes in the 1800’s. Find out more on our Objects in Focus tour on SMARTIFY !

Did you know that in the past all freshly printed banknotes were checked by a banknote examiner? Do you think you could ...
15/10/2020

Did you know that in the past all freshly printed banknotes were checked by a banknote examiner? Do you think you could spot an error on a banknote against the clock? Give it a go in our Noteworthy banknote checking game! 💷 🤓 https://b-o-e.uk/2H4E5qS

This week we're joining History Begins at Home to celebrate a good night in from years gone by. In the days before settl...
13/10/2020

This week we're joining History Begins at Home to celebrate a good night in from years gone by. In the days before settling down in front of the box, getting lost in your favourite magazine or cracking on with knitting a trendy jumper were popular forms of entertainment in the evenings. This photo shows the 'Recreation Hut' in 1942 for Bank staff to hang out in they were evacuated to Hampshire during the Second World War.
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#HBAHNightsIn #HistoryBeginsAtHome #BoEArchive #archives

10/10/2020
Audio described recording of Britannia relief

As part of World Sight Day 2020, we’re unveiling some brand new audio described content for those who are blind or partially sighted. This clip explores the Britannia relief which has been the emblem of the Bank of England for centuries! Have a listen and let us know what you think!

10/10/2020
Audio described recording Gold Bar

To celebrate World Sight Day 2020, we have created some brand new audio described content for those who are blind or partially sighted. Check out this clip which focuses on gold bars and their connection to the Bank of England. Have a listen and we would love to know what you think!

Vegetables! And lots of them for this week's letter 'V' #ArchiveZ campaign! We're amazed at the size and scale of the Ba...
07/10/2020

Vegetables! And lots of them for this week's letter 'V' #ArchiveZ campaign! We're amazed at the size and scale of the Bank's allotments back in 1942. Located at Roehampton, south west London, staff tended to the produce throughout the Second World War.

The architecture of the Bank of England has changed so much over our 326 year history. The print shows the building as i...
05/10/2020

The architecture of the Bank of England has changed so much over our 326 year history. The print shows the building as it was in 1783 and the photograph shows us today! Quite the change isn't it!
If you are interested in the Bank's architecture, you can look through the albums collated by the #BoEArchive: https://b-o-e.uk/3lgbYDC

The tennis season has begun with ROLAND-GARROS well underway in Paris. It's also National Sporting Heritage Day so what ...
30/09/2020

The tennis season has begun with ROLAND-GARROS well underway in Paris. It's also National Sporting Heritage Day so what better way to celebrate than with sharing some classic photographs from the Bank Archive of the tennis club in action. Here we can see the Bank's 1st Ladies team with their hands on a trophy in 1928; the second photo shows staff playing a game whilst they were evacuated during the Second World War to Hurstbourne, Hampshire. #BoEArchive #archive #archives #history #sportinghistory #frenchopen #tennis #photograph #photo #photography

24/09/2020
Money Makers (1960)

Did you know that British Pathé has an incredible archive of footage? This short clip from Money Makers (1960) gives you a brief glimpse into a banknote designer's office and shows you how designs go from paper, to die to printing plate. It's an incredible insight and allows us to see how some of our objects would have been used! 📽💷 https://b-o-e.uk/3hVJeOF
video clip © British Pathé

M/S of two men sitting at tables in an office; they both have drawing boards before them and are designing bank notes, with art materials beside them. M/S ov...

We're so excited that it's Birmingham Heritage Week! As you may (or may not!) know, the Bank of England used to have a B...
14/09/2020

We're so excited that it's Birmingham Heritage Week! As you may (or may not!) know, the Bank of England used to have a Branch in Birmingham. It was fabulous too, very grand and based on Union Street, then Bennett's Hill and also on Temple Row. Whilst it was open, it issued its own banknotes and operated as a way to reach out to other areas of the country. Sadly, the branch closed in 1997 but we have plenty of bits in our collection that are reminders of the place and people who worked there!
Some of our favourite objects include these sketches taken from a series of ledgers. They were drawn by a member of staff who sketched scenes of life inside and outside of the Branch. We also have this dexterity test which was used to train and develop staff - handling banknotes is a delicate task after all! Also, this rather charming picture of the Branch when it was based in Bennett's Hill, from the #BoEArchive.
Today, we don't have branches but instead have Agencies who work with people and business in the area collecting economic data that influence policy decisions (shout out to the West Midlands Agency!).
Anyway, the Birmingham Heritage Week festival goes on until the 20th September, so plenty of time to get involved. They have some amazing events planned, socially distanced and even some that are online!

Have a go at making your own banknote in this fun workshop video with artist Brenda Coyle 💷 🖍️🎨. Get creative and tag us...
11/09/2020

Have a go at making your own banknote in this fun workshop video with artist Brenda Coyle 💷 🖍️🎨. Get creative and tag us in your works! https://b-o-e.uk/2ZJDmSr

And the winners of our #DrawingMoney competition are (drum roll please)...Beulah from Cardiff (age 5-7 category), Mirabe...
07/09/2020

And the winners of our #DrawingMoney competition are (drum roll please)...

Beulah from Cardiff (age 5-7 category), Mirabel from Hastings (age 8-9 category) and Abigail from Northampton (age 10-11 category)!

Congratulations to you all for your absolutely fantastic designs! Thanks also to everyone who took part - we have had so much fun looking through your submissions and hope you had fun making them.

This week's #ArchiveZ is 'Q' so what better photograph for us to share than that of a good old fashioned queue! This won...
04/09/2020

This week's #ArchiveZ is 'Q' so what better photograph for us to share than that of a good old fashioned queue! This wonderful photo from the Bank's historical photograph collection shows Bank staff awaiting their turn to purchase punnets of fruit during their evacuation to Hampshire during the Second World War. #BoEArchive

The Totally Thames Festival begins today and goes on all throughout September. The Thames has played a huge role in the ...
01/09/2020

The Totally Thames Festival begins today and goes on all throughout September.
The Thames has played a huge role in the development and history of London - so you can find references to it all throughout our collection. For example, on our Art UK pages you can see some of the fantastic oil paintings in our collection. One of our favourites is Old London Bridge, by Samuel Scott. We even have an object in our collection that was found by a mudlarker! This mug fragment was found in 2018 near Tilbury for the rather fancy St Luke's Club.
You can find out more about the incredible programme of events that they have lined up here: https://b-o-e.uk/3jCVNQb

As part of this week's #ArchiveZ, P is for Picquet! On the 6th June 1780, the Lord Mayor requested the Secretary of Stat...
28/08/2020

As part of this week's #ArchiveZ, P is for Picquet!

On the 6th June 1780, the Lord Mayor requested the Secretary of State 'for some horse and foot in order to protect Mansion House and the Bank.' This call for help followed the burning down of Newgate prison during the Gordon Riots. The Bank was attacked but the military guard offered some protection, and thereafter a nightly guard was provided to the Bank of England. The Foot Guards continued to fulfil their public duties by manning several sites across central London in the early 19th century including the Bank of England at night. Further information on the history and role of the Bank Picquet can be found here:

https://b-o-e.uk/3hHjXby

Photograph showing 'The Bank Hut' YMCA at St Martin's Plain, Shornecliffe in 1918. (Ref. 15A13/14/5)

It's #NationalDogDay and we honestly couldn't be happier! We've removed 4 fantastic pups from this painting of Covent Ga...
26/08/2020

It's #NationalDogDay and we honestly couldn't be happier! We've removed 4 fantastic pups from this painting of Covent Garden by Jan Griffier I. Can you spot where they were meant to be? 🐶🔎🤔

Did you miss our #DrawingMoney competition? Not to worry! You can follow our free online workshop with artist Brenda Coy...
24/08/2020

Did you miss our #DrawingMoney competition? Not to worry! You can follow our free online workshop with artist Brenda Coyle and make your own personalised banknote! 🎨💷 Let us know how you get on and tag us in your designs! https://b-o-e.uk/3hqqLdA

21/08/2020

Thank you to everyone who took part in our #DrawingMoney competition. You sent us lots of amazing designs. Our judges are busy looking through all the entries. We will announce winners on 10th of September so watch this space!

Today is the last day of our #DrawingMoney competition! Enter your banknote design for a chance to win some prizes https...
14/08/2020

Today is the last day of our #DrawingMoney competition! Enter your banknote design for a chance to win some prizes https://b-o-e.uk/2CwdMYE #Numistastic

As part of the #ArchiveZ campaign, we are exploring different documents from the #BoEArchive every week. This week, we'r...
11/08/2020

As part of the #ArchiveZ campaign, we are exploring different documents from the #BoEArchive every week. This week, we're shining a light on notices and news releases. They have been produced by the Bank of England for decades, and through them we can learn a lot of detail about its history! As early as 1806, the Bank placed notices containing lists of its directors, and the names of cashiers authorised to sign notes. More recently, 20th century press notices included the establishment of regional agencies and announcements of senior staff appointments.

Remember - this is the last week of our #DrawingMoney competition! All entries must be in by midnight Friday 14th! One o...
10/08/2020

Remember - this is the last week of our #DrawingMoney competition! All entries must be in by midnight Friday 14th! One of us have had a go at it too. Check out this design based around Ilford in East London!

Our #DrawingMoney competition continues this week - what colours are you putting on your design? For the Bank of England...
03/08/2020

Our #DrawingMoney competition continues this week - what colours are you putting on your design? For the Bank of England the main colour of each denomination or value has been kept the same since the 1970s to help people identify them!
£5=🔵 £10=🔶 £20=💜 £50=🔴

Colours also appear in the security features, in the holograms, miniature designs and so much more!

Our Drawing Money competition is open until 14th August - so why not give it a go! https://b-o-e.uk/33kYzo5

'L' for this week's #ArchiveZ could only mean one thing for us - ledgers, and lots of them! With over 10,000 stock ledge...
29/07/2020

'L' for this week's #ArchiveZ could only mean one thing for us - ledgers, and lots of them! With over 10,000 stock ledgers alone, they are the Bank of England Archive's largest series of records. They are extremely heavy to lift off the shelves, but they are in great condition despite their age and size. The unique data found within the stock ledgers also makes them a valuable primary source for researchers and economic historians across the world! #BoEArchive

Need some inspiration for your #DrawingMoney entry? Well, don't you worry - we're here to help! Lots of amazing landmark...
23/07/2020

Need some inspiration for your #DrawingMoney entry? Well, don't you worry - we're here to help! Lots of amazing landmarks and buildings across the UK have featured on banknotes.

The lovely Worcester Cathedral appeared on the £20 series E variant, and the new £20 issued in February features Margate Lighthouse. Of course the Bank of England itself has made an appearance on a note too!

Both Clydesdale Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland banknotes show the fantastic Edinburgh Castle and the Bank of Scotland Bridge series notes include a view of the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct in Inverness-shire. The Bank of Ireland notes feature the local Bushmills Distillery. The 10LP (Lewes Pound) note includes a fantastic view of Lewes Castle (built around the 11th Century!).

So what about your town? Is there an iconic view that you would include on your own banknote? Check out our Summer drawing activity pages for the full details of the competition 👉 https://b-o-e.uk/2P26HSl

📷 Images from top left going clockwise:
Lewes Castle, from the Lewes £10 © Lewes Pound CIC
Worcester Cathedral, from the £20 series E variant © Bank of England
Margate Lighthouse, from the £20 series G, © Bank of England
Bushmills Distillery, from the £10 Bank of Ireland, © Bank of Ireland.

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Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00

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Amazing little museum. We are really glad we came yesterday. 😁
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