Bank expects high rate of interest in open day

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The Independent Online
The august Courtroom of the Bank of England can be viewed for the first time ever by the public as part of this year's Heritage Open Days.

Visitors will be given a guided tour of the the neo-classical room, where the the Bank's directors meet before deciding on economic affairs of state.

The Courtroom, designed by Sir Robert Taylor in l774, was moved from its original ground floor location to the first floor during rebuilding work between l925 to 39.

The room is the traditional place for the Bank's governing board to gather before adjourning to an adjoining office to rule on matters such as the interest rates.

Nearly 2,000 buildings, from castles to cottages, abbeys to chapels, power stations to mills, and theatres to court houses, will open their doors with guided tours, exhibitions, talks and boat trips during Heritage Open Days `97.

Opening the event at the Bank in Threadneedle Street, Culture, Media, and Sport Secretary Chris Smith, said: " The Bank is participating in the event for the first time this year and I know that people will be fascinated to see behind the doors of key national institution.

"The event continues to grow in popularity and provides an excellent opportunity for people to see and appreciate the country's hidden wealth of buildings of historic, architectural or cultural interest."

The heritage open days started in France in 1985 and in 1991 the Council of Europe launched the European Heritage Days. Last year in Britain 660,000 people visited 1,750 properties in London and throughout England.

The event will take place across England in various venues on the weekend of September 13-14, apart from the capital when it will be on September 20-21.