Building the Bank of England

Money, Architecture, Society, 1694-1942
Author(s): 
Abramson, Daniel M.
ISBN: 
0300109245
Date published: 
October 2005
Hardback
Price: 
£50.00
Pages: 
352

The Bank of England symbolizes the economic strength, influence, and potency of Britain. Founded in 1694, its world famous buildings were built and rebuilt four times by different architects, most notably Sir John Soane. The Bank’s three-and-a-quarter acre complex has included elegant public banking halls and private offices, courtyards and gardens, warehouses and vaults, residential apartments and guards’ barracks. This lavishly illustrated book examines for the first time the entire architectural history of the Bank from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries.

Drawing on a variety of perspectives, the book relates the history of the Bank of England to current debates on English economic, social, and urban history, including issues of national identity, mercantile politics, and the commercialization of culture. The book also shows how the building itself has expressed various historical tensions among the Bank’s inhabitants and publics: its directors and detractors, its clerks and clientele, its tourists, and even its mob attackers