Bank of England Banknotes

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Sterling Banknotes

Current Bank of England Issued Bank notes

Pounds Sterling is the currency of the United Kingdom. The Bank of England is the central financial institution responsible for issuing money in England. Regional banks are responsible for issuing bank notes in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The table below lists some information regarding the design of the current legal tender banknotes issued by the Bank of England. All four notes were originally designed by Roger Withington.

Money
Value
Predominant
colour(s)
Size Date legal tender Shape feature
(to aid the
partially sighted)
Who or what's on the back?
5Turquoise135mm x
70mm
21st May 2002Blue circleElizabeth Fry 1780-1845 - Prison reformer
A family meeting in a prison
10Orange &
Brown
142mm x
75mm
7th November 2000Orange diamondCharles Darwin 1809-1882 - Naturalist
A Hummingbird
the HMS Beagle
a magnifying glass studying flowers
20Purple149mm x
80mm
22nd June 1999Purple squareSir Edward Elgar 1857-1934 - Composer
Worcester Cathedral
St Cecilia, the patron saint of music.
50Red156mm x
85mm
20th April 1994Red triangleSir John Houblon 1632-1711 - 1st Governor of the Bank of England
A view of John Houblon's house on Threadneedle Street
The Bank Gatekeeper
The dates 1694-1994 celebrating 400 years of the Bank of England

Security Features

All 4 of the above banknotes have the following security features:

The more recently issued 5, 10, and 20 pound notes also have the following security features:

Selected Earlier Bank Notes

Listed below are descriptions of some of the bank notes that have been issued through history by the Bank of England. None of them are currently legal tender however they can usually be exchanged in banks for legal money of equal value.

Monetary
Value
Predominant
colour(s)
Size Date last issued Date Ceased to
be legal tender
Who or what was on the back?
1Green135mm x 67mm31st Dec 198411th Mar 1988Isaac Newton
2White (one sided)approx. 200mm x 113mm18211821nothing - blank
5Turquoise135mm x 70mm200221st Nov 2003George Stephenson and his train The Rocket
5Blue145mm x 78mm199029th Nov 1991Duke of Wellington
10Orange142mm x 75mm200031st July 2003Charles Dickens
10Brown151mm x 85mm199220th May 1994Florence Nightingale
15White (one sided)approx. 203mm x 127mm18221822nothing - blank
20Purple149mm x 80mm200028th Feb 2001Michael Faraday
20Purple160mm x 90mm199119th Mar 1993William Shakespeare
25White (one sided)approx. 203mm x 127mm18221822nothing - blank
30White (one sided)approx. 211mm x 130mm18521852nothing - blank
40White (one sided)approx. 211mm x 130mm18511851nothing - blank
50Brown169mm x 95mm199620th Sep 1996Christopher Wren
60, 70,
80, 90
White (one sided)approx. 195mm x 120mm18031803nothing - blank
100White (one sided)approx. 211mm x 133mm194316th Apr 1945nothing - blank
200White (one sided)approx. 211mm x 133mm192816th Apr 1945nothing - blank
300White (one sided)approx. 211mm x 130mm18851885nothing - blank
400White (one sided)approx. 195mm x 120mm18031803nothing - blank
500, 1000White (one sided)approx. 211mm x 133mm194316th Apr 1945nothing - blank

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