Committee of Scottish Bankers

Banknote Design Features : Clydesdale Bank World Heritage Series

Clydesdale Bank launched its World Heritage Series of banknotes in the autumn of 2009 to coincide with the Homecoming Scotland celebrations.  The notes celebrate the best of Scotland's heritage, people and culture  with the front of each denomination featuring a prominent and innovative Scot whilst the reverse of each note portrays one of Scotland's five World Heritgae Sites.

Sir Alexander Fleming£5 note
The front of the note features a portrait of Sir Alexander Fleming, the Scottish biologist and pharmacologist whose discovery and isolation of penicillin marked the start of modern antibiotics and the transformation of modern medicine. Estimates put the number of lives saved to date by penicillin at over 200 million.

St Kilda



The reverse of the note depicts St Kilda, which is situated off the coast of the Outer Hebrides and is one of only 24 global locations to be awarded 'mixed' World Heritage status for its natural and cultural significance.


Robert Burns£10 note
The portrait on the front of the note is of Robert Burns, the best known of the poets who wrote in Scots. Known in Scotland as The Bard, Burns is looked on as the national poet of Scotland and his work is celebrated worldwide. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and he became an inspiration to the founders of liberalism and socialism.

 Edinburgh Old & New Towns

The reverse of the note depicts the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, the Scottish capital city since the 15th century. The city has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress and the New Town, whose development from the 18th century onwards greatly influenced European urban development. The blend between the old and new towns is what gives the city its unique character.


Robert the Bruce£20 note
On the front of the note is a portrait of Robert the Bruce, who was King of the Scots from 1274 to 1329, and who led Scotland in the Wars of Scottish Independence.  The wars culminated in the Treaty of Edinburgh, 1328, which recognised Scotland as an independent kingdom and Bruce as its king. Legend has it that, while he was hidng in a cave, Bruce observed a spider spinning a web.  Each time the spider failed in its attempts it started over until it succeeded and this inspired Bruce  who returned to Scotland and eventually gained victory.


New Lanark

On the reverse of the note is a depiction of New Lanark, the small 18th century village set in the Clyde Valley where the phianthropist and Utopian idealist Robert Owen established a model industrial community. Owen's social philosophy in matters such as factory reform, humane working practices and progressive education greatly influenced social developments throughout the 19th century and beyond.


Elsie Maud Inglis£50 note
This note bears a portarit of Elsie Maud Inglis who, in 1894, jointly established in Edinburgh a maternity hospital  for poor women, staffed entirley by women. She also played an important role in the founding of the Scottish Federation of Women's Suffrage Societies. During the First World War, Inglis set up the Scottish Women's Hospitals, which evnetually sent over 1,000 women doctors, nurses, orderlies and drivers to war zones across Europe. She was captured in 1915 but later released with the help of American diplomats.

The Antonine Wall

The reverse of the note depicts a  section of the Antonine Wall, which theRoman Emperor Antonius Pius ordered />constructed in 142 AD as a defence against the 'barbarians' of the North.  The Wall stretched across Scotland from Bo'ness on the River Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde and consisted of a turf rampart fronted by a great ditch and with a strategic system of forts and camps.  It was abandoned in 162 AD when the romans withdrew further south.


Charles Rennie Mackintosh£100 note
The note features Charles Rennie Mackintosh, born in Glasgow and celebrated around the world as one of the most creative figures of the 20th century. An architect by profession, he took evening art classes and was later one of a group of artists known as 'The Four' who, along with others, created 'The Glasgow Style'.  He was inviolved in many projects but the building that helped make his reputation international was The Glasgow School of Art. Latterly, he concentrated on watercolour painting, in particular the relationship between man-made and naturally occurring landscapes.

Heart of Neolithic OrkneyThe reverse of the note depicts a group of Neolithic monuments on Orkney. The group consists of a large chambered tomb (Maes Howe), two ceremonial stone circles (the Stones of Stenness and the ring of Brodgar) and a settlement (Skarra Brae) together with a number of unexcavated burial, ceremonial and settlement sites. It constitutes a major prehistoric cultural landscape which gives a graphic depiction of life in this remote archipelago in the far north of Scotland some 5,000 years ago.


The above text is reproduced by courtesy of Clydesdale Bank PLC.

Information on the Banknote Design features of the Clydesdale Bank's Famous Scots Series, Bank of Scotland and The Royal Bank of Scotland appears elsewhere on this site.