Inside the Bank of England's gold vaults

Bank of EnglandBank of EnglandA view inside the Bank of England’s gold vault.

The Bank of England is one of the most powerful institutions in the United Kingdom.

It is responsible for setting interest rates, issuing bank notes, and maintaining confidence in the British currency.

Britain’s central bank is also one of the largest holders of gold in the world, which it stores in vaults spread over two floors.

Here’s a glimpse inside.

The Bank of England was founded in 1694. It has been on Threadneedle Street in the City of London since 1734.

Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Let's head straight to the gold, which is stored underground in vaults that were built in the 1930s.

Bank of England

Source: The Independent

There are over 400,000 gold bars in the vaults, only a small amount of which is owned by the Bank itself. The Bank also stores gold for the UK government, other central banks around the world, and the London Bullion Market Association.

Bank of England

Source: Bank of England

After gold arrives at the Bank, it is weighed and stacked onto pallets. There are 80 bars on each blue pallet.

Bank of England

Source: Bank of England

The average gold bar weighs 400 ounces or around 28 pounds. A tonne of gold is equal to 80 bars.

Bank of England

Source: Bank of England

The vaults are built on London clay, which is soft, so the pallets can't weigh too much.

The value of gold bar at the start of August 2016 was around £411,770.

Queen Elizabeth II tours the gold vault during her visit to the Bank of England in central London.

Gold is no longer a main form of currency but remains a symbol of stability and value.

Bank of England

Source: Bank of England

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