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Plenty of interest as Glastonbury's 200-year-old pound returns

By Central Somerset Gazette  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

The Glastonbury one pound note, dated 1813

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A bank note produced nearly 200 years ago in Glastonbury is returning to the town.

The Glastonbury pound, dated 1813, was auctioned this month as part of the biggest collection of provincial bank notes ever to come to market.

It has been bought by Glastonbury businessman Malcolm Slocombe, founder and owner of Four Seasons.

“When I discovered the Glastonbury pound was one of the notes up for auction, I was determined to bring it back to Glastonbury, the town of its origin,” he said.

“It’s a fascinating piece of local history giving an insight into how currency has developed throughout the UK.

“It’s also of interest to me personally because the Slocombe family has been trading in the Glastonbury and Street area since the mid 1800s.

“At about the time this note was produced and in circulation, the family had a general store in Walton and then a bakery in Street, so this very pound may even have passed through a Slocombe till.”

During the late 18th century right up to the early 20th century, merchants would get together and start up their own banks.

The Glastonbury notes dates back to 1813, twenty-two years before the bank disappeared for ever.

In 1835 the bank merged with Stucky’s, another local bank, having survived the crisis in credit confidence sparked by the Anglo-French wars after 1793 which saw three-quarters of the country’s 400 banks shut.

The note bears the unmistakable image of Glastonbury’s world-famous Tor.

A little bigger than a modern £50 note, the notes were marked with the bank’s name, its logo and the amount it was worth.

They were hand signed and hand numbered.

The Glastonbury Pound is signed by Charles Brown, one of the founders of the Glastonbury & Somersetshire Bank.

From today an enlarged copy of the Glastonbury pound will be on display for people to view in the Four Seasons’ shop on Glastonbury High Street.

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