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Bank of England Museum facts for kids

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Bank of England Museum
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Established 1988; 34 years ago (1988)
Location City of London, London, EC2R
United Kingdom
Type Bank of England Museum
Public transit access London Underground Bank

The Bank of England Museum, located within the Bank of England in the City of London, is home to a collection of diverse artifacts detailing the history of the Bank from its foundation in 1694 to present.


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.


The Bank of England Museum covers around 10,000 square feet (930 m2) and displays a wide-ranging collection detailing the history of the Bank from its foundation in 1694 to the modern day. 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. Displays in this area cover the history of the bank in roughly chronological order, including many images showing the rebuilding of the bank in the inter-war years, and several figures in appropriate attire. Another section, called The Bank Today, uses modern technology to bring the Bank's current activities to a wider audience.

In the rotunda area at the end of the tour, displays include the bank's collections of notes and coins, books and documents, pictures, furniture, statues, silver and a genuine bar of gold (99.79% pure gold) that can be handled from within its perspex box.

Kenneth Grahame, the author of The Wind in the Willows, worked for 30 years at the Bank, his final post being that of the Bank's Secretary, and the museum has a permanent display which includes his dramatic resignation letter.

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