Museum on the Mound

Bank of Scotland Museum, The Mound
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Bank of Scotland Museum, The Mound

Located in the basement-level of the historic Bank of Scotland Head Office building on Bank Street in the centre of Edinburgh, the Museum on the Mound examines the history and importance of money and the finance industry in Scotland. Its eight rooms feature displays that explore banknote design, technology, crime, trade, security, the rise of the building societies, the market for life assurance and the history of Scotland's oldest bank. The museum was originally founded in 1987 but was re-opened in its current form in 2006 by author Ian Rankin (b. 1960). It is now visited by more than 50,000 people annually.

Exhibits include coins, banknotes and forgeries, an 18th C. bullion chest, the original Act of the Scottish Parliament which founded the Bank of Scotland in 1695, together with maps, watercolours and engravings of old Edinburgh. Visitors will see Scotland's oldest banknote, not one but two cases containing a million pounds in cash and understand the measures taken to defeat forgers. Given the Bank of Scotland has long retained the right to issue its own banknotes, the collection includes a number of historic examples.

The Museum on the Mound provides educational resources for teachers and children from across Scotland, and receives around 150 visits from school groups each year, including around 4000 children.

The museum is now operated by Lloyds Banking Group, the owners of the Bank of Scotland since 2009. It was threatened with closure in 2017 but subsequently reprieved after a vigorous campaign which included an intervention by Scottish Labour Party leader, Kezia Dugdale (b.1981).

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