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If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind those imposing walls at the Bank of England, find out by visiting the free museum inside the bank.
The Bank of England Museum traces the history of the bank from 1694 to the present day and explores the history of money, the building and the employees.
While the collections of coins are rather impressive, some of the most facinating items tell the story of the people who worked there. An area is devoted to Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind in the Willows who worked at the bank and his letters tell how he left rather abruptly. I also enjoyed seeing the smart hat and gaiters worn by a women porter who worked at the bank during the first world war.
The current special exhibition, The Pound In Your Pocket explores absolutely everything you ever wanted to know about inflation, including an interactive toy that replicated the challenge of controlling inflation and avoiding economic shock. I found it quite impossible to balance, which I guess was the point!
Bank of England Museum, open Monday to Friday (closed bank holidays), 10:00 – 17:00 (last entry at 16:45). Admission free. www.bankofengland.co.uk