The Bank of England – London’s Best Places to Visit
The establishment of the bank was devised by Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, in 1694, to the plan which had been proposed by William Paterson three years before. He proposed a loan of £1.2m to the government and in return subscribers would be incorporated as The Governor and Company of the Bank of England with long-term banking privileges including the issue of notes.
The Bank was originally in Walbrook but moved to its current location on Threadneedle Street and began to acquire neighbouring land. Sir Herbert Baker‘s rebuilding of the Bank of England, demolishing most of Sir John Soane‘s earlier building was described by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as “the greatest architectural crime, in the City of London, of the twentieth century”.
The old Bank of England building was built at various periods by three different architects and became a mix of styles and forms. There were eight open courts, a rotunda, several large public offices, committee rooms, and private apartments for the residence of officers and servants. The principal suite of rooms was on the ground floor, with more rooms below it than above as the foundations had to be raised above the marshy soft soil and stream and counter-arches in the walls.