The Bank of England Museum (1): The History 1690-1790

Posted: April 26, 2016 in History, London, UK
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Originally opened as a method of raising capital funds for the impoverished government of the day to raise funds for public works and government expenditure. Lenders lent sums of money to the bank and were issued with notes against government bonds which could then be transferred from one person to another. Thus the bank note was born. Although this aspect of bank notes is now lost the Bank of England notes still carry the line ‘I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of …..’ and signed by the chief cashier. This is because these original notes could be cashed for coinage at the bank.

The bank first operated from offices within the Mercer’s Hall in Cheapside and then moved to the Grocer’s hall in Poultry.

Mercer's Hall

Mercer’s Hall

 

Grocer's hall

Grocer’s hall

It was not until 1734 that it moved into its own building in Threadneedle St, where it has remained to this day, although the original building occupied  less than 20% of its current area

The original Threadneedle St building

The original Threadneedle St building

. It is thought that this was the world’s first purpose-built bank. The original banking hall from this building survived the redevelopments and was not replaced until the 1920’s.

The original banking hall which remained in use until 1920's

The original banking hall which remained in use until 1920’s

The first major redevelopment was between 11765 and 1788 when two wings were added to the original building.

One of the wings added to the original building  between 1765 and 1788

One of the wings added to the original building between 1765 and 1788

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