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Home > Education and Museum > Walk Through Time > Buildings and Architects

Buildings and Architects

Bank of England buildingFor the first forty years of its life the Bank rented premises to carry on its business, firstly, in
the hall of the Mercers' Company in Cheapside and moving in January 1695 to the larger premises of the Grocers' Company in Princes Street. In 1734 it moved to purpose-built premises in Threadneedle Street which were approximately 80 feet wide (25m) and 300 feet (90m) long. Over the next one hundred years the site was gradually extended until by 1828 the current outline was achieved.

The Bank has been served by a distinguished line of architects:-
1732-1734 George Sampson's Bank of England
1732-1734 George Sampson
​Scant details of George Sampson have survived.
Even his dates are not known for certain.
He appears to have held the post of Clerk of
Works at the Tower of London and
Somerset House before becoming
Surveyor to the Bank.
His only major work is the 1734 Bank,
arguably the first purpose-built bank in the
British Isles. He is thought to have died in 1764.
1765-1788 Sir Robert Taylor

1765-1788 Sir Robert Taylor's Bank of England
A sculptor who turned to architecture later in life, he extended the Threadneedle street façade of the Bank firstly eastwards and, after the demolition of the church of St Christopher-le-Stocks in 1781, westwards. In order to avoid piercing the outer walls with openings for light he introduced top-lighting to his new banking halls which were dominated by his centrally-placed Rotunda.

1788-1833 Sir John Soane
1788-1833 Sir John Soane's Bank of England
Sir John Soane was one of England's greatest architects. His appointment in October 1788 as 'Architect and Surveyor' to the Bank was the most important of his distinguished career. The Bank was his main pre-occupation for the ensuing 45 years until his retirement in 1833 when he described it as '...a situation which has long been the pride and boast of my life'. He extended the Bank's site and eventually enclosed it in 1828 with a windowless wall.'

The structure of 'Soane's Bank of England' remained more or less untouched until it was demolished and a new building erected by the architect Herbert Baker between 1925 - 1939.
1833-1855 Professor C R Cockerell
1855-1883 P C Hardwick
1883-1899 Sir Arthur Blomfield
1899-1919 A C Blomfield
1925-1939 Sir Herbert Baker
1925-1939 Sir Herbert Baker's Bank of EnglandBetween 1925 and 1939 he demolished what had become known as 'The Old Bank' or 'Soane's Bank' (then regarded as one of London's architectural gems) and built a new headquarters for the Bank on the same 3 ½ acre Theadneedle Street site. The 'Old Bank' had been in the main no more than three storeys high; Baker's new building rose seven storeys above ground and dropped three below to accommodate the extra staff required to tackle the Bank's rapidly increasing volume of work and responsibilities.