Bank of England Museum
Threadneedle St., EC2
Our Rating Hours Mon–Fri 10am–5pm; last admission 4:30pm Transportation Tube: Bank Phone 020/7601-5545 Prices Free admission Web site Bank of England Museum
The intermittently compelling tale of the B of E is recounted in appealingly patronizing but generous detail, accompanied by plenty of antiques from the vaults. That’s fine if you understand finance, but most people lose the plot pretty quickly. Along the way are some fun oddities, including a million-pound note, printed in the early 19th century for internal accounting, and reimbursement claims from families of Titanic victims. There’s lots of expensive swag, such as a primitive safe from 1700, heaps of silver treasures, and a gold bar so pure (1 part in 10,000 impure) that it was given to Queen Elizabeth as a coronation gift. Guess she didn’t need it. It’s also fun to watch Her Majesty age on the money over the years. The most popular exhibit is a 28-lb. standard gold bar encased in a clear plastic box, that you’re challenged to lift. The rest of the Bank isn’t open.
MapThreadneedle St., EC2 London
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