The building on the corner of Threadneedle Street is the Bank of England.
The bank was established in 1694 to raise money for war and moved to its present location in 1734. It is commonly known as “the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street”. The underground vaults still hold Britain’s gold reserves.
Having had a number of different roles throughout history, it now acts as the Government’s and banker’s bank and as the issuer of British currency.
In the 1990’s, it was assigned responsibility for setting interest rates for Britain: a role previously reserved for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
In 1836 a man found a route from the sewer into the Bullion room of the Bank. Instead of using this to his advantage, he alerted authorities and was later rewarded for his honesty.
From the late 17th to the 19th century the Bank issued lottery tickets as a way of raising money to meet state expenditure. Now, the Government runs a National Lottery to help fund the Arts and community projects.