Islington Central library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid by Alderman Henry Mills JP, Mayor of Islington, on 16 June 1906. The architect was Henry T Hare, and the builder was CP Roberts. Enlarged in the mid 1970s. The stone front has 2 statues: on the right -Bacon, on the left – Spenser.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Islington Council (2018)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £20,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 4 October 1907 by Sir Arthur Rucker, principal of the University of London

Photo of library today (2018):




Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet


Thanks to a friend who has just moved to Islington, we had the excuse to visit all 4 of the libraries endowed by Carnegie in August 2016. All 4 are still open as public libraries, and all 4 were open on a Saturday. Central library was probably the most surprising, as while the stone facade on Holloway Road is impressive, the library has been hugely extended and most of it is now out the back. The door with its impressive stone porch now leads to a childrens  centre. and the library entrance is in the new section. It was absolutely buzzing, with loads of visitors, reading, using the computers and choosing books. Upstairs is the childrens section, which had a lively display based around participation in the Summer Reading Challenge, and one young lad was being quizzed on the book he had just read.

Visited again in 2018 – spent a bit of time in the lovely vaulted roofed reference room, and heard about their plans for refurbishment.

Web links:


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