Westbourne library

Brief description

Arts and Crafts style building, the last of 4 built in Bournemouth with Carnegie funding. The architect was Charles Thomes Miles. The cost of the build by Messrs. Barnes & Pond was £1,887. The opening ceremony was a prestigious event attended by the Mayor of Bournemouth alderman Henry Robson, the Libraries Committee and Mr J A Longden. The latter of whom had made the library possible.

At Westbourne the difficulty was not only finding the money, but also acquiring a suitable plot of land. In 1914 the Carnegie Trust withdrew their offer due to the lack of progress in finding a site, but after an appeal in the local papers Mr Longden purchased the north portion of the garden of Wilton House on Alum Chine Road, and gifted it to Bournemouth Council.

At the opening ceremony, the Mayor was presented with a commemorative silver-gilt key by the architect Mr C T Miles, and Mr Longden, the borrower of the first book ‘Bournemouth 1810-1910’.

It closed in 1966 for 3 weeks to allow for extensive refurbishment – and this is when the new entrance was built. Then in the early 1990s it was extended into an ajoining site.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1976.

Current status: Still a public library, managed by Bournemouth borough council

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: A total of £10,000 to build 4 libraries: Westbourne, Springbourne, Winton and Boscombe. Westbourne was allocated £2,000
  • Year opened: by Henry Robson, Mayor on 13 May 1916

Photo of library in 2013:

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Photo of the original suggested layout – taken by Alwyn Ladell (shared under cc licence)

Old photo of library (postcard):


We visited in 2013

Web links:

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