Bank Of England Reveals Its Secrets In New Exhibition

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 31 months ago
Bank Of England Reveals Its Secrets In New Exhibition
Gas decontamination unit in the vaults at the Bank of England. During the second world war, many members of staff were evacuated to Hampshire, but activities at the bank continued as normal due to a two-year preparation plan known as 'Zero'.

Did you know that the Bank of England had an emergency operating theatre and a gas decontamination room? You can see images of this, and many more oddities and rarities, at a new exhibition beginning 18 January.

Capturing The City features photos of the bank dating from the 184os right up to 2015. Previously unseen photos of staff, life inside the bank, and the City of London as seen from the bank's vantage point.

Changes in photography styles and techniques over the years are seen in portraits of successive governors, while other shots show staff packing gold bars, and the Victorian printing office.

A whole series of photos is dedicated to John Soane's 'lost' Bank of England, a building he spent 45 years working on, only for it to be demolished and rebuilt by Sir Herbert Baker a century later. Photos in this exhibition show views of Soaneā€™s vestibules, Bullion Yard, Court Room suites and courtyards.

Take a look at a handful of the photos going on display:

Princes Street photographed from King William Street in the 1890s.
Valerie McGlinchley's shot shows Prince Street photographed from King William Street in 2015
VE Day at the Bank
The Dealing Room in 1965
A view of St Paul's from an eighth floor window in 1958.
Caryatid being lowered from the Consols Office lantern. The caryatids were salvaged from the Consols Transfer Office during the demolition of Soane's Bank in 1925. Sir Herbert Baker tried to retain features from Soane's building, and these caryatids can now be seen in the Museum's Rotunda.

Capturing The City: Photography At The Bank Of England opens 18 January 2016. Admission is free.

Last Updated 06 January 2016