The mystery of ‘The Old Lady’


Probably the most famous building in the City of London, the capital’s financial district, is the Bank of England – known to City workers as the Old lady of Threadneedle Street. No one is entirely sure how the nickname came about, but some historians have suggested that the “Old Lady” is in fact a ghost that haunts the bank’s garden.

Sarah Whitehead was the sister of a Bank of England worker called Philip, who was found guilty of forgery in 1811 and executed for his crime. This upset Sarah to such an extent that she visited the bank every day for the next 25 years, demanding to see her brother. When she died she was buried in a churchyard that subsequently became part of the Bank of England’s garden – and her ghost has reputedly been seen here many times since.

The Bank of England, in its own words, “sets interest rates to keep inflation low, issues banknotes, and works to maintain a stable financial system”.

Find out more about The Bank of England on our City of London tour. Click here for more information

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