Open House Festival

Bank of England Museum


Sir John Soane, Sir Herbert Baker, 1925

Bartholomew Lane, EC2R 8AH

The museum is part of the Bank of England rebuilding in the 1930's by Sir Herbert Baker. One room is a reconstruction of 1793 Bank of England Stock Office by Sir John Soane.

Getting there


Bank, Cannon Street, Moorgate


Liverpool Street, Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Moorgate


8, 26, 43, 133, 141, 21, 25

Additional travel info

We are a short walk from Bank Underground Station. If you alight at Bank, take Exit 2. The Museum is on Bartholomew Lane.



Accessibility notes

If you use a wheelchair, please make yourself known to Security Staff at the entrance to the Museum on Bartholomew Lane.

What you can expect

Our galleries vary in size / acoustics and congestion and noise levels can vary. Some seating is available in each gallery.


Inside the Museum

During your visit, you’ll discover some of the Bank of England's history and architecture, and some of its responsibilities as the UK's central bank. Learn about why people started using paper money, and discover why banknotes are so difficult to copy. Test your strength by picking up a gold bar, and find out more about the gold bars stored in our vaults!

You can also find out what the Bank of England does and how this affects you. Find out how it works to keep prices stable, and to keep the financial system safe and sound.

Don’t forget to check out our temporary exhibitions, too!

A brief architectural history of the Bank of England

Founded in 1694 by a Royal Charter, the Bank of England opened for business in rented premises at Mercers Hall, in Cheapside, with just 17 clerks and 2 gatekeepers. Later that year, it moved to Grocers’ Hall in Princes Street where it stayed for 40 years.

In 1734, the Bank moved to its current site in Threadneedle Street. The building was designed by George Sampson as the first purpose-built bank in Britain.

Later on a new architect, Sir Robert Taylor, was hired to add new wings to each side of the building. The east wing was completed in 1765 but he couldn’t build the west wing because the church of St Christopher le Stocks stood in the way! All this changed following the Gordon Riots of 1780. Led by Lord George Gordon, a Protestant, the rioters protested against an act of parliament which reduced discrimination against British Catholics. They climbed to the top of the church spire and threw missiles into the Bank. An Act of Parliament was passed following the incident to demolish the church. The west wing was then completed in 1798, after Taylor’s death.

Next to make changes was Sir John Soane, who was one of Britain’s best known architects. He worked for the Bank for 45 years (from 1788 to 1833). Soane transformed nearly every part of Taylor’s Bank and expanded it to cover the entire 3.25 acre island site we have today.

From 1925 to 1939, Sir Herbert Baker expanded the building. Baker demolished Soane’s architectural gem, and today only the huge curtain wall that surrounds the Bank survives. Baker’s Bank not only rises to 7 storeys but has 3 more floors below. Today, the Bank has more floor space than most of London’s tallest skyscrapers.

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