Bank Holidays

Message sent in by visitor to our website

Could you tell me what year or under which Prime Minister, that the New Year Bank Holiday was introduced in England,

Bank Holidays are National Holidays in Britain.

New Year’s Day became a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in 1974. I am not sure if Ted Heath was Prime Minister at the time or Harold Wilson, as both these were Prime Minister during 1974.

Other notes on Bank Holidays:

Bank holidays were first introduced by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, which designated four holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five in Scotland.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

  • Easter Monday,
  • The first Monday in August,
  • 26th December
  • Whit Monday


  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • The first Monday in May
  • The first Monday in August
  • Christmas Day

Bank Holiday Timeline

1971 – Whit Monday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (which could fall anywhere between 11 May and 14 June) was formally replaced by a fixed spring holiday on the last Monday in May.
The last Monday in August was formally made a bank holiday in place of the first Monday in August in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

1973 – 2 January became an additional bank holiday in Scotland

1974 – New Year’s Day became an additional bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Boxing Day became an additional bank holiday in Scotland.

1978 – the first Monday in May in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the last Monday in May in Scotland, became additional bank holidays.

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2 comments for “Bank Holidays

  1. Dave
    20/10/2013 at 14:04

    I found your site while searching for a reference to St. Lubbock’s Day.

    My boss (last name Lubbock) challenged us to find out what St. Lubbock’s Day was, he is of Scottish descent I believe. Do you have any idea what St. Lubbock’s Day is and what it celebrates?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Dave

    • projectbritain
      25/10/2013 at 14:23

      St. Lubbocks Day is the August Bank holiday. Sir John Lubbock, later to become Lord Avebury was responsible for the introduction Bank Holidays.

      The Lubbock family owned High Elms in Farnborough, Kent. In the 1900 hundreds the 3rd Baronet (sir John Lubbock) was given the title of Lord Avebury.

      A banker, politician, author and scientist, Sir John Lubbock was instrumental in introducing 30 Acts of Parliament including The Open Spaces Act and The Wild Birds Protection Act. However, it was for the introduction of Bank Holidays that made Lord Avebury famous, so much so, in fact, that the Daily Telegraph newspaper suggested that the August Bank Holiday be called St Lubbock’s Day!

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