THE new £20 banknote, due to enter circulation in February, includes a little taste of Gwent, in the form of a see-through window inspired by Tintern Abbey.

The new polymer note, which will be issued for the first time on Thursday, February 20, 2020, was unveiled today (Thursday).

Among the security features of the note, which features a portray of the artist JMW Turner on the reverse, are a small transparent window, inspired by Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire.

Both sides of the new £20 note. The window inspired by Tintern Abbey can be seen on the bottom right on the front, and the bottom left on the back. Picture: Bank of England/PA Wire


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The new note also depicts Turner's celebrated painting the Fighting Temeraire - a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire which played a role in Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It was voted the nation's favourite painting in a 2005 poll run by BBC Radio 4.

Other features of the new banknote include the quote: "Light is therefore colour", taken from an 1818 lecture by Turner referring to the use of light, shade, colour and tone in his pictures, as well as the artist's signature.

Tintern Abbey. Picture: Matthew Jones

The existing £20 note is the most common of the Bank of England's notes in circulation, and also the most forged, making up around 88 per cent of detected banknote forgeries.

Unveiling the new note, governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said: "Turner's legacy endures today through his influence on art for over two centuries, to the prize that bears his name to celebrate British contemporary art, to this magnificent gallery, the Turner Contemporary.

"Soon Turner's work will feature on another two billion works of art - the new £20 notes from the Bank of England."

Mark Carney with the new £20 note. Picture: Leon Neal/PA Wire

He added: "Turner's contribution to art extends well beyond his favourite stretch of shoreline.

"Turner's painting was transformative, his influence spanned lifetimes, and his legacy endures today.

"The new £20 note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory."

The new £20 note will be the first to feature the signature of Sarah John, the Bank's chief cashier.

She said: "The new £20 is an important part of our commitment to providing banknotes that people can use with confidence.

"Our polymer notes are much harder to counterfeit and, with the £20 being our most common note, this marks a big step forward in our fight against counterfeiting."

Sarah John, chief cashier at the Bank of England, holding the new £20 note. Picture: Bank of England/PA Wire

Other features of the new banknote include:

A large see-through window with a blue and gold foil on the front depicting Margate lighthouse and Turner Contemporary. The foil is silver on the back. The shape of the large window is based on the shape of the fountains in Trafalgar Square.

Turner's self-portrait, painted in around 1799 which is on display in Tate Britain.

A metallic hologram which changes between the word 'Twenty' and 'Pounds' when the note is tilted.

The Queen's portrait in the see-through window with "£20 Bank of England" printed twice around the edge.

A silver foil patch with a 3D image of the coronation crown.

A purple foil patch containing the letter 'T' and based on the staircase at the Tate Britain.

The current £20 note featuring economist Adam Smith will remain in circulation until further notice.

A new £50 note, featuring Alan Turing, will follow in 2021.