Ever wondered what went on within the hallowed halls of the Bank of England? Then welcome to the bank's virtual tour. Yesterday The Bank of England launched its first App, featuring a virtual tour of its famous Threadneedle Street building.

The Bank of England now throws open its doors to the world, with the launch of a Virtual Tour app that gives users a fascinating insight into the institution that shapes the UK’s economic and financial landscape.

Available to download free of charge via the Apple Store and Google Play marketplace, the App takes visitors on a virtual tour of the central bank’s historic building, with 360° panoramic views and featuring key points of interest.

A highlight of the Virtual Tour is a rare view of the Bank’s gold vaults – one of the largest in the world – that houses over 400,000 bars of the precious metal. The tour also visits the Cash Vault where the Bank holds a portion of its vast stock of banknotes, and users can learn about the security features on each of the Bank’s notes via the ‘Know Your Banknotes’ feature.

App users can also explore the Garden Court – an oasis at the heart of the building – which is planted with mulberry trees, the material that was used to make the first paper money issued in 10th century China; and can learn the gruesome tale of the “Bank Giant” – a 2-metre tall former clerk whose body was buried in the garden in 1798 to protect it from grave-snatchers.

Bank of England - FreeFoto.com

Bank of England – FreeFoto.com

The Bank of England’s monetary policy and financial stability roles are also illustrated in the tour, with a visit to the room where the Monetary Policy Committee meets to set interest rates every month. There is also a view of the Dealing Room, where the Bank interacts with the financial markets to implement monetary policy.

Most of the Threadneedle Street building is, of course, a working space devoted to monetary and financial stability. But it is a recognisable landmark to many people, and the App provides a unique glimpse of some of the Bank’s more significant locations behind its familiar facade.

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