London Did You Know? No.4 – Drummonds
Drummonds was always a quirky place. This private bank has been at 49 Charing Cross since 1760. It used to incorporate a military bank, but was acquired by the Royal Bank Of Scotland in 1924.
Right until the 1970s, anyone entering the Admiralty Arch branch would have found themselves in a Victorian hall with a grandfather clock and a choice of quill pens that were sharpened every week. It also housed a museum of animal fossils, and while you were waiting to see the manager you could ask to see the lion and the woolly mammoth.
The bank held accounts for King George III and other members of the royal family including the Queen Mother. Other famous clients included Alexander Pope, Benjamin Disraeli, Beau Brummell, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Robert Adam and James Adam, Lancelot “Capability” Brown, Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Gainsborough. It’s still there, and maintains a specialised department for UK National Lottery winners.