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Library, November 1797 -1799 (14)

The library was a fireproof building for the storage of cancelled Bank Notes and old books. Soane's library was a copy of that built by Robert Taylor in 1770 and he even reused much of the original library's materials. The library was only rebuilt so as to accommodate the north-east extension.

The directors of the Bank were unsupportive of Soane's proposal to move the library in 1797. Thomas Dea, a Bank director who had been temporarily appointed to the Committee of Building, was especially vocal in his disapproval. Soane's entry into his diary in 21 September 1797 recalls that Dea eventually agreed that there was no better alternative.

Soane's library was erected in the angle between Lothbury Street and Bartholomew Lane. As with Taylor's library, it had brick cross-vaults on four storeys. Soane even replicated the number and arrangement of the supporting piers. The library was removed at the beginning of the 20th century.

Literature: M. Acres, The Bank of England from within, 1931, p. 250; 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. 358-370; H. Rooksby Steele and F.R. Yerbury, The Old Bank of England, London, 1930, pp. 9, 16.

Madeleine Helmer, 2010