Bank of England from Cateaton Street
Artist: Pugin, Charles Augustus
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
Britain's first national bank (now the Bank of England) was founded in 1694 to allow the government to raise money "upon a Fund of Perpetual Interest". It was soon given a monopoly on the production of bank notes. In 1734, the bank moved to its present location in Threadneedle Street. Sir Robert Taylor extended the building between 1767 and 1770, and in 1788 it was reconstructed in neo-classical style by Sir John Soane. By the late-18th century, it had become known popularly as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.
The magnificent building was surrounded by a long windowless wall - partly for protection and to deter rioters.