Savings Banks Museum Ruthwell
The Savings Banks Museum is situated in the
small village of Ruthwell, 10 miles southeast
of Dumfries, 14 miles northwest of
Gretna, off the A75 road.
The museum is open April to September,
Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00 to 1600, and October
to March, Thursday to Saturday, 10.00 to 16.00
- Free Admission. The historic Ruthwell
Cross is in Ruthwell Church close to this
1810 - this was the first savings bank in
the world to open so the working class and
small businesses could start to save with a
deposit of just sixpence.
Other banks of the time required a deposit
of £10, with many people of that time only
earning around £5 to £20 per year.
1799 - the Rev Henry Duncan became the
minister of Ruthwell Church. He set about
trying to help the poor in the parish in a
number of ways, such as creating work, and
gaining a supply of inexpensive food.
1800 - the Rev persuaded the Earl of
Mansfield to donate a derelict cottage to store
and distribute food to his parishioners.
1810 - the Rev opened the first savings bank
in the cottage.
He placed the deposits in the Linen Bank in
Dumfries with 5% interest, then paid his
members 4% interest on whole pounds.
Profits from the bank were used for charity,
tiered interest for long-term savers, and for
the running cost of the bank.
This Savings Bank became so popular, by
2002, 109 other organizations had opened
similar banks in 92 countries.
1823 - the Rev rebuilt the Ruthwell Cross at
Ruthwell Church. The cross had been broken up
in the 1600s during the Reformation.
The Ruthwell Cross is said to be the
finest example of a Celtic Christian monument
in the world, a popular attraction to visit
along with this museum.