The Savings Banks Museum is situated in the small
village of Ruthwell, 10 miles southeast of Dumfries, 14 miles northwest of Gretna, off the
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.
Map / DG1 4NN .
Area Click On Map . 14 Large Images .
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
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
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
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