Tinsley library

Brief description

Andrew Carnegie offered £1,500 to Tinsley Urban District Council in 1903. The site was given by Earl Fitzwilliam, and the architects were Messrs Edward Holmes and Adam Francis Watson of Sheffield. Designed in the renaissance style, it was faced in local pressed bricks and Grenoside stone dressings. The foundaton stone was laid by Sir William Holland MP in July 1904.

The library was one which nearly wasn’t built with funds from Carnegie. As the blog post linked below relates, during the early council meetings where proposals were discussed, a local resident objected to funds being accepted from Carnegie: “as a capitalist, and a foreigner at that, riding in style on the backs of working men”.

Current status: Boarded up when we visited in 2009, can’t find out what its current status is – if anyone local can let me know, please leave a comment. The Shelf Life project (link below) lists it as a building at risk (2020).

  • Year grant given (if known): 1903
  • Amount of grant: £1,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 8 June 1905, by Thomas Wilkinson, the managing director of Wm Cook and Co.

Photo of library in 2009:



Old photo of library (postcard):



Yes, in 2009, when it was boarded up (having been a childrens centre)

Web links:

  • Article about Tinsley library from the ‘Reading Sheffield’ group. Includes photo of when it was still open as a library. Part 2 (linked from the first article) details the debates that took place before the library was built. Once council member was vociferous in his opposition to the plans – he didn’t want to accept the funding from Carnegie, but was eventually voted down. It also includes details from local papers about the library – which I’ve used to update the information above. A third article – which includes a lovely photo of the opening ceremony, lots of the orginal plans, plus goes into detail about the stock available when the library was first opened.
  • Mentioned on the Shelf Life project website as being a building ‘at risk’ (2020).

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