Savings Banks Museum Ruthwell

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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 Museum.

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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.

Savings Banks Museum Ruthwell Images