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

Have you booked your post-lockdown haircut yet? If you haven’t, perhaps you could consider paying a visit to Benjamin Hi...
20/04/2021

Have you booked your post-lockdown haircut yet? If you haven’t, perhaps you could consider paying a visit to Benjamin Hillier at 22 Cheapside, London. As seen on this flash note from 1834, he will pay on demand the sum of fifty pounds if he does not cut any lady or gentleman's hair in the first style of fashion. Well, it will be about £6,500 in today’s money if you believe this advert!

Intrigued by this flash note? Find out more about it in our new blog post: https://b-o-e.uk/3xc7che

Have you booked your post-lockdown haircut yet? If you haven’t, perhaps you could consider paying a visit to Benjamin Hillier at 22 Cheapside, London. As seen on this flash note from 1834, he will pay on demand the sum of fifty pounds if he does not cut any lady or gentleman's hair in the first style of fashion. Well, it will be about £6,500 in today’s money if you believe this advert!

Intrigued by this flash note? Find out more about it in our new blog post: https://b-o-e.uk/3xc7che

We have a new blog post all about this iron chest, which is the oldest piece of furniture in our collection. Can you gue...
08/04/2021

We have a new blog post all about this iron chest, which is the oldest piece of furniture in our collection. Can you guess what used to be inside it 300 years ago? Maybe gold bars or other treasures? And what's its connection to the £50 series E banknote. Find out more here: https://b-o-e.uk/39PFWej

We have a new blog post all about this iron chest, which is the oldest piece of furniture in our collection. Can you guess what used to be inside it 300 years ago? Maybe gold bars or other treasures? And what's its connection to the £50 series E banknote. Find out more here: https://b-o-e.uk/39PFWej

The Royal Maundy is a ceremony that has been in place since the 13th century. Although it is longstanding, it has change...
02/04/2021

The Royal Maundy is a ceremony that has been in place since the 13th century. Although it is longstanding, it has changed over the years and since Henry IV reign it has included the Monarch giving gifts to subjects.

For a long time, the gifts have taken the form of Maundy money, which are a set of silver coins including a 4 pence, 3 pence, 2 pence and a penny denominations. This set is from 1953, the first year of Elizabeth II's reign. The otherside of the coin features the portrait created by Mary Gillick, which still features on Maundy money to this day. Today’s recipients of Royal Maundy are elderly men and women, chosen because of the Christian service they have given to the Church and the community.

The Royal Maundy is a ceremony that has been in place since the 13th century. Although it is longstanding, it has changed over the years and since Henry IV reign it has included the Monarch giving gifts to subjects.

For a long time, the gifts have taken the form of Maundy money, which are a set of silver coins including a 4 pence, 3 pence, 2 pence and a penny denominations. This set is from 1953, the first year of Elizabeth II's reign. The otherside of the coin features the portrait created by Mary Gillick, which still features on Maundy money to this day. Today’s recipients of Royal Maundy are elderly men and women, chosen because of the Christian service they have given to the Church and the community.

Read our latest blog post on one of our skit notes collection with a magical twist! Skit notes are counterfeits that wer...
23/03/2021

Read our latest blog post on one of our skit notes collection with a magical twist! Skit notes are counterfeits that were often used as political statements or adverts. This note was used by an Italian conjurer called Alfred Bosco to advertise his magic show in 1856. https://b-o-e.uk/3cd4OP5

Last chance to sign up to our online talk on Thursday at 12.30pm! Our Collections and Exhibition Manager, Miranda Garret...
16/03/2021
Online talks about the Bank of England

Last chance to sign up to our online talk on Thursday at 12.30pm! Our Collections and Exhibition Manager, Miranda Garrett will take you on a tour of our banknote collection. Discover the origins of today's notes and get a peek at our historic banknote designs. Register here: https://b-o-e.uk/3tp6OJM
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We’ve just added a new post on our blog! In the post we're delving into the history behind the oldest Bank of England ba...
09/03/2021

We’ve just added a new post on our blog! In the post we're delving into the history behind the oldest Bank of England banknote in our collection. #numismatics https://b-o-e.uk/2N4Evki

In 1795, twelve 'caryatid' statues based on those of Erechtheion were ordered by architect Sir John Soane for placing in...
03/03/2021

In 1795, twelve 'caryatid' statues based on those of Erechtheion were ordered by architect Sir John Soane for placing in the dome of the new Rotunda in the Bank of England. They came at a cost of £200 and were made out of patent stone at Mrs Coade's manufactory. When the rebuilding of the Bank took place in the 1920s, the sculptures were carefully removed and relocated.
https://b-o-e.uk/383gJMU

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new blog! We'll be posting articles taking a personal look at the Bank of E...
25/02/2021
Museum blog posts

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new blog! We'll be posting articles taking a personal look at the Bank of England's history and behind-the-scenes stories from our collections.

Check out the first post on why we were founded in 1694. We hope you'll enjoy it! Leave a comment and let us know what you think!
https://b-o-e.uk/383Q1np.

We're joining in with #HBAHHeroes this week by celebrating the voluntary work of these wonderful women who took on the r...
19/02/2021

We're joining in with #HBAHHeroes this week by celebrating the voluntary work of these wonderful women who took on the role of fire guards to keep the Bank of England safe during #WW2.

The Bank Auxiliary Fire Brigade was formed with clerks acting as officers, and non-clerical staff such as messengers and porters also volunteering for roles. In 1940, the decision was made that they should receive a payment for their efforts. However, as the war progressed the role of fire guard soon became a statutory duty and payments were no longer made.

On the 15th February 1971, the UK moved from the old £sd (pounds, shilling and pence) system to a decimalised currency. ...
15/02/2021

On the 15th February 1971, the UK moved from the old £sd (pounds, shilling and pence) system to a decimalised currency. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the switch, so we thought we would celebrate by bringing you something a little bit different.

This calculator is a lovely piece from our collection, with 2 faces which appear when the calculator is tilted up and down - one with old money and the other with new money equivalents. So why were they produced? Simply put, the change to the system was a huge shift and the Government wanted everyone as informed and prepared for the switch as possible.

But how much do you know about pre-decimal coinage? Pop quiz! How many old pennies were in a pound?

We love digging through our collection of postcards. This one shows the Bank of England during its rebuilding in the ear...
10/02/2021

We love digging through our collection of postcards. This one shows the Bank of England during its rebuilding in the early 20th century. On the left hand side, you can see the last bits of the old Soane Bank waiting to be demolished and replaced.

There were a variety of reasons that rebuilding was needed, including a lack of space and a growing workforce. The work was undertaken in stages and took nearly two decades. The project did have its controversies though, as it destroyed most of Sir John Soane's work, with the outer façade wall being all that remained.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!Aboon them a' ye tak your place,Painch, tripe, or t...
25/01/2021

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

Happy Burns Night everyone! The Ode to a Haggis is one of Rabbie Burns best known works, and the opening lines always grab your attention (or make you hungry!). If you've never attended a Burns supper, you've missed a treat. You can find out all about what goes on here: https://b-o-e.uk/2KKZXJN

📷: Robert Burns portrait, taken from a Clydesdale £5 banknote.

#OTD in 1837 architect Sir John Soane died aged 83 years. He was well known for his design of the Bank of England buildi...
20/01/2021

#OTD in 1837 architect Sir John Soane died aged 83 years. He was well known for his design of the Bank of England building in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Many wonderful photos survive in the Bank Archive which provide a unique insight into the banking life that took place within Soane's admired Bank of England. From customers making stock purchases to gatekeepers protecting the bullion courtyards, and the grand Governor's' Room and Garden Court, Soane designed a building that played a huge part in the Bank's history. It remained operational until the 1920s when it was then demolished to make way for a larger building.
https://b-o-e.uk/2NiH1D7

Remember that if you're busy with #genealogy research over the festive period, we have lots of digitised documents onlin...
30/12/2020

Remember that if you're busy with #genealogy research over the festive period, we have lots of digitised documents online that might help you, including the index of original subscribers to Bank Stock in 1694! #BoEArchive #familyhistory
https://b-o-e.uk/3aUbP76

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...

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