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Four Per Cent Office, 1793-97 (11)

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The Four Per Cent Office was constructed simultaneously with the Rotunda, though it took longer to complete. The Office's decayed roof was reported to the Building Committee on 24 September 1793 and its rebuilding was approved. The Office completed by July 1797.

As with the other transfer offices, the Four Per Cent Office was where investors in government and bank stock came to claim their semi-annual dividends, and where they bought and sold their shares. Clerks worked behind desks on the periphery of the hall, entering into ledgers the transfers of ownership for each of the government funds. Later, this hall was called the Consols Dividend Office.

As with the Bank Stock Office, the new hall was built on the existing foundations of Robert Taylor's building. It followed the same plan as the Stock Office. The only distinction between the offices was in elevation, where the geometry of the arches was reversed: semicircular arches spanned all four sides of the central chamber in the Four Per Cent Office, with segmental arches in the long arms. Also differentiating this hall from the Stock Office were the ribbed pendentives and the Doric columns in the lantern.

Literature: D. Abramson, Money's architecture: the building of the Bank of England, 1731-1833, Doctoral thesis for the Department of Fine Arts, Harvard University, 1993. pp. 253-256, 350-352.

Madeleine Helmer, 2010



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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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Contents of Four Per Cent Office, 1793-97 (11)