The Royal Bank of Scotland £50 note

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Fifty pounds
(United Kingdom)
Width156 mm
Height85 mm
Security featuresRaised print, metallic thread, watermark, microlettering, UV feature
Paper typeCotton
Years of printing1727, 2005–present
2005–present (current design)
DesignLord Ilay
Design date2005
DesignInverness Castle
Design date2005

The Royal Bank of Scotland £50 note is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the second largest denomination of banknote issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland; the current cotton note, first issued in 2005 bears an image of Lord Ilay, one of the founders of the bank, on the obverse and a vignette of Inverness Castle on the reverse.


The Royal Bank of Scotland began issuing £50 notes in 1727, the same year as the bank's founding. Early banknotes were monochrome, and printed on one side only; the issuing of banknotes by Scottish banks was regulated by the Banknote (Scotland) Act 1845 until it was superseded by the Banking Act 2009.[1] Though strictly not legal tender in Scotland, Scottish banknotes are nevertheless legal currency and are generally accepted throughout the United Kingdom. Scottish banknotes are fully backed such that holders have the same level of protection as those holding genuine Bank of England notes;[2] the £50 note is currently the second largest denomination of banknote issued by The Royal Bank of Scotland.[3]

The current Ilay series of banknotes was first issued in 1987, although it did not originally include the £50 note;[4] the £50 note was added to the Ilay series in 2005, and these notes were the first £50 notes issued by the bank since 1727.[5] These banknotes feature a portrait of Lord Ilay, first governor of the bank, on the front. Lord Ilay's image is also used as a watermark on the notes. Other design elements include the bank's coat of arms and logo, the facade of Dundas House, the bank's headquarters in Edinburgh, and a pattern representing the ceiling of the headquarters' banking hall. All of the Ilay series notes feature a castle on the back. On the reverse of the £50 note is an image of Inverness Castle.[5]


Note First issued Colour Size Design Additional information
Ilay 2005 Green 156 × 85 mm Front: Lord Ilay; Back: Inverness Castle

Information taken from The Committee of Scottish Bankers website.[3]


  1. ^ "Banknote History". The Committee of Scottish Bankers. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Scottish and Northern Ireland Banknotes Factsheet" (PDF). Association of Commercial Banknote Issuers. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Current Banknotes : Royal Bank of Scotland". The Committee of Scottish Bankers. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Banknotes: 8 things you might not know". The Royal Bank of Scotland. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Banknote Design Features : The Royal Bank of Scotland". The Committee of Scottish Bankers. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2016.

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