Sowerby Bridge library

Brief description

The site adjoined the municipal offices and was owned by the Council. The architect was the county surveyor: C. L. Whitehead. Originally there was a lending library, ladies’ reading room, reading room, and reference section. The reading room was probably at the front of the building as this was top lit, and the lending library was probably at the rear. It had wood block floors. The total cost was £2,869.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Calderdale council (2020)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1902
  • Amount of grant: £2,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 14 October 1905

Photo of library in 2017:

sowerby-bridge-forblog (2)

This is how I saw the library (see note below). Look forward to updating this photo when it has reopened!


Photo © Dr Neil Clifton (cc-by-sa/2.0) 2007


sowerby-bridge-forblog (1)

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet


Yes, in 2017, but as it was closed for refurbishment, I’ve only seen the outside – shrouded in scaffolding.

Web links:

3 thoughts on “Sowerby Bridge library”

  1. Hello – I was visiing this page to see details of the Shipley (West Yorkshire) Carnegie Library. Though I have lived in Australia most of my life, I fondly remember this library as it aided me in becoming a young reader in the late 60s/early 70s. I remember it as a lovely old building but it has been sadly neglected by the local council (I have seen photos on a Windhill/Shipley memories site).

    I am passing this information on in case you did not have knowledge of this particular library. I am currently watching a BBC documentary about Andrew Carnegie, which is why I was googling Carnegie Libraries.

    Regards – GT downunder


    1. Thankyou for your comment. While it is good to see renovations like I reported for Sowerby Bridge, it is also sad to see when library buildings are neglected. We drove past Shipley once and it was indeed a sad sight. I think there have been several plans to restore it, but I don’t think any have come to fruition.


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