Caversham library

Brief description

The library committee wrote to Carnegie in June 1905 and received a promise of £2,500 (an overspend was covered by a further grant).  Following a competition judged by the Reading architects Charles Smith and Son, the local architect WG Lewton was chosen. Described as being in the ‘free renaissance style’ (possibly meaning that it is not symmetrical, and borrows elements from a range of styles, include Arts and Crafts, and classical). The foundation stone was laid 23 March 1907 by William Bullivant Williams, who had donated the site.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1978.

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

  • Year grant given (if known): 1905
  • Amount of grant: £2,575
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 11 December 1907, by Viscount Valentia (Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council).

Photo of library today (2018):



Thanks to Karen Blakeman for permission to include these photos.

The photo below is from when I visited in 2008:


Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet


Yes, in 2008

Web links and further reading:

  • Entry on the listed buildings register
  • Roots and branches: the centenary history of Battle and Caversham libraries, Reading‘ by David Cliffe. ISBN: 9781901677546

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