Edinburgh money museum to close

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by Annika Backe

October 26, 2017 – The “Museum on the Mound” is located in the heart of Edinburgh. No more than 500m away from Edinburgh Castle, it provides information on 4,000 years of English monetary history. Even though the exhibitions are very well received by the visitors, it will permanently close at 5pm on Friday, December 29, 2017. 

The Bank of Scotland’s former Head Office. Photo: Rept0n1x / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0.

The “Museum on the Mound” is located in the historic Bank of Scotland Head Office. Being the oldest bank in all of Scotland, its founding act – one of the major attractions of the museum’s permanent display – dates back to 1695. Every summer, the museum presents additional special presentations to which other well-known museum and institutions also contribute. 

View inside the permanent display of the Edinburgh “Museum on the Mound”. Photo: Lloyds Banking Group / Paul Zanre.

Among the approximately 50,000 visitors to the museum with free entry are a great many young people. School classes and youth groups come to see Scotland’s oldest banknote and want to learn how to crack open a safe. An installation of £1m worth of banknotes and interactive maps to explore how the city of Edinburgh has changed since the 1600s are further crowd pullers. The visitor even gets the chance to build a bank for himself. 

Forming part of the Bank of Scotland, the museum was acquired by Lloyds TSB Banking Group in 2009. The historic building then became the home to Lloyds’ Scottish headquarters. Asked about the closure, a spokesperson of the Lloyds Banking Group told CoinsWeekly in an e-mail from October 16, 2017: “The Group has made the difficult decision to close the Museum on the Mound by the end of the year. Over the last 11 years, the museum has been one of the ways that we have informed the public about the history of money and its role in society. The Group remains committed to helping young people throughout Scotland understand financial management through our current flagship financial education and inclusion programmes. We will continue to work with our own archive service and other accredited institutions to ensure the artefacts are preserved.”
Disappointed comments from the general public can be found on the Internet, accompanying Scottish media coverage. The initiators of an online petition campaign take action, hoping that the museum’s closure can still be averted. They are currently collecting signatures to keep their popular museum right in the heart of Edinburgh.

To visit the website of the “Museum on the Mound”, click here.

If you want to see what the museum has to offer you can also download this leaflet. 

Impressions from and information about past exhibitions are available here. 

On the website of Lloyds Banking Group you can read about the history of the Bank of Scotland Head Office. 

To read a Herald Scotland article on the museum’s closure, click here. 

If you went to sign the petition for keeping the “Museum on the Mound”, too, just click here.