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Edinburgh, Scotland has tons of history museums, large and small. One of the unique small museums in Edinburgh is the Museum on the Mound. The Museum on the Mound is the museum of the Bank of Scotland, detailing the nation’s history through finance, economics, & currency.
The Museum on the Mound (official website) is located in the historic Bank of Scotland building, just off the Royal Mile. This building appears on every Scottish banknote. Maps may make it look like the entrance is on the Royal Mile side of the building, but it’s actually around the corner, down on the street below. The museum is also near several hop-on, hop-off bus routes. Entry is free.
In the entry room of the museum, there are printing plates used for making currency.
The Museum on the Mound starts by telling the history of the bank, which has gone through many changes through the years after having opened in 1695. Most recently, it was formed by a merger between Lloyds & Bank of Scotland. No longer just a Scottish bank, it now has connections between Edinburgh & Birmingham, and beyond.
The money museum’s archives contain many old documents and financial instruments.
This includes Scotland’s oldest banknotes from the 1700s. Scotland issues its own banknotes via the Bank of Scotland, a fact that has confused many Scottish banknote recipients down in England, who sometimes try to refuse to accept them.
Next, there is the history of the construction of the bank. This includes details about the Mound itself. The Mound is an artificial hill connecting Edinburgh’s Old Town & New Town. This display of the dirt from the Mound shows how it was once a dumping ground, including discarded oyster shells.
The following room goes into the history of making coins and printing money. It starts with the history of items used as currency.
Then there are more modern coins and notes, including information about how they are printed.
There is also a display showing what a million pounds looks like. Don’t get any ideas all of these notes have been canceled, of course.
Another section covers saving & investing, including life assurance as well as building societies.
The final gallery of the Museum on the Mound talks about various banking jobs, the equipment used, and what employees have done with their leisure time.
The Museum on the Mound provides insight into what powers the Scottish economy. It’s similar to the Bank of England Museum. While the museum doesn’t take more than 30 minutes or so to visit, it’s a nice little diversion & a good rainy day activity in Edinburgh. For more nearby history, visit the Museum of Edinburgh and the People’s Story Museum.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh, check out these Edinburgh hotels.
Last updated on October 9, 2022