Always wanted to hold a bar of pure gold in your hands? Well now is your opportunity. Previously, access to the Bank's collections had been by appointment only and visitors were escorted through the Bank to a small display area. In the 1980s the Bank of England decided that it would like to make its collections (and indeed itself) available to a greater audience and so planned to create a new museum which would open in 1994, the year of the Bank's tercentenary. However, a fire in 1986 caused severe damage to the area of the Bank above the proposed site and it was decided to begin work then rather than repair and rebuild later. The work took about 18 months to complete and the new museum, designed by exhibition consultants Higgins Gardner & Partners, was opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II. In the same year it received the City Heritage Award and the Stone Federation Award for Outstanding Craftsmanship.
Housed within the impressive walls of the Bank of England, this fascinating museum takes you through the history of the bank since its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the nation's central bank. There are gold bars dating from ancient times to the modern market bar, coins and a unique collection of banknotes. There are also many items you might not expect to find, such as the pikes and muskets used to defend the bank; the Roman pottery and mosaics uncovered when it was rebuilt in 1930; and documents relating to famous customers such as Horatio Nelson, George Washington and the Duchess of Marlborough. The displays include a reconstruction of a late-18th century office; known as the Stock Office, this is where holders of Bank stock would come to collect their dividends. Another section, called The Bank Today, uses modern technology to bring the Bank's current activities to a wider audience.
Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:00
Saturday/Sunday - Closed
Tickets : Free
Tel: 020 7601 5545