London is home to many incredible museums. From the fossils at the Natural History Museum to the remarkable modern art at the Tate, there is plenty to explore, discover and broaden the mind. Thanks to our enviable position in central London, we here at Strand Palace Hotel are very familiar with all that the capital has to offer and every month, we shine a spotlight on one of the top lesser-known museums.
This month… the Bank of England Museum
Housed within the Bank of England in the City of London, this museum takes visitors on an enlightening walk through the history of English finance, from the bank’s inception in 1694 right through to the present day. The bank has been situated here on Threadneedle Street since 1734, though the building itself has changed. Various architects, including the well-regarded Sir John Soane, worked to create the original bank building – a celebrated and much-loved structure that was commonly known as Soane’s Bank. Unfortunately, Soane’s Bank no longer exists. It was torn down in the early 20th century to make room for Sir Herbert Baker’s design, and it is Baker’s structure you’ll see there today.
Blending traditional and multimedia elements, the museum’s exhibits explore the history of the bank and English financial matters, covering everything from money printing to interest rates. Visitors can get to grips with inflation and come up with their own financial plans, as well as taking a virtual tour of the bank’s vaults. Learn more about financial history and design in the Banknote Gallery and take a look at the Royal Charter that ushered the bank into existence. Other fascinating items including cartoons, furniture and statues are also included in the bank’s collection. You can even get your mitts on a genuine gold bar in one part of the museum – just remember to give it back!
How to visit
Strand Palace Hotel is just a short 15-minute bus journey from the Bank of England Museum. The number 11 bus leaves from the nearby Southampton Street in Covent Garden and stops right by the museum at the Bank Station Threadneedle Street stop. Enter via Bartholomew Lane off the main street. The museum is open from Monday to Friday and is free to enter. There is also a shop on-site where you can pick up Bank of England-themed gifts and other banking-related items. While there is no café in the museum, there are many restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
Want to go museum-hopping in the capital? Make Strand Palace Hotel your base. Not only is our hotel near the City of London and the Bank of England Museum, but it’s also near South Bank and Kensington, ensuring you can easily reach all of London’s premier museums.
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