Irchester library

Brief description

The article linked below contains an anecdote from Bunty Garland – Irchester resident. Apparently “Carnegie was a regular visitor to her grandparents’ house in the neighbouring town of Rushden, where he would buy hides from her grandfather’s cattle farm. He would stay overnight after visiting the chapel, where he is believed to have occasionally preached. In 1904, Mrs Garland’s grandparents persuaded Carnegie to donate £1,200 to the Parish Council on the proviso that the land for the library be donated so that the cost would not be a burden upon the penny rate. Lady Wantage, who owned most of the village at the time, donated the current site on the village high street.”

The local paper (article linked in the Rushden research page linked below) reports that: A special meeting of the Irchester Parish Council was held to discuss the tenders received. Mr William Packwood’s tender was accepted. “The wish was expressed that as far as practicable work would be given to Irchester men, several of whom are at present out of employ.”

The architects were Edward Sharman and Archer. The builders were Messrs. E. Brown and Son, Ltd, the plumbers’ and painters’ work being executed by Mr. Nichols, of Rushden. Messrs. Marriott and Horrocks, of Higham Ferrers supplied and fixed the heating apparatus and pipes, etc.

On the 100th birthday of the library, the community reenacted the opening ceremony.

Current status: Still open as a public library. Initially run by Northamptonshire County Council, then Wellbeing CIC (on behalf of NCC) (2016). Update 2018 – under threat of closure. Update 2021 – appears still to be run by NCC.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £1,200
  • Year opened: 20 November 1909, by by the Hon Sir Edward Chandos Leigh and Lady Leigh, who resided at Knuston Hall.

Photo of library in 2006:


Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet


Yes, in 2006

Web links:

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