Skewen library

Brief description

The architect was J Cook Rees. The book “Books, Buildings and Social Engineering: Early Public Libraries in Britain” includes the date 1905, while the stone over the door has the date 1904. More research needed!

Current status: Currently a community centre, owned by Coedffranc Town council. News items (linked below) indicate that the library service may relocate back to the building! (2019). Update – see comment below – library services are due to return and the library will reopen in March 2020. 

  • Year grant given (if known): 1903
  • Amount of grant: £2,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 10 June 1905 by Mrs Blanche Evans (the american bride of local lawyer – thanks to local historian who provided the information in her comment below)

Photo of library today (2019):

Red brick building with yellow stone details

Old photo of library (postcard):


Yes, on our way back from a week in Pembrokeshire.

Web links:

4 thoughts on “Skewen library”

  1. Hello. I am a member of the committee of Skewen & District Historical Society. We are currently preparing a publication which commemorates the return of library services to the Carnegie building after an absence of just over 50 years. (Opening date will be 2nd March 2020, following completion of refurbishment).
    In answer to the questions raised, the grant was given in 1903 (but no funds were forthcoming until Sept. 1904, when Mr. Carnegie was assured that his conditions had been honoured); the amount of the grant was £2,000; the library was opened on 10th June 1905 by Mrs. Blanche Evans, the American bride of local (but London-based) lawyer, Mr. Samuel Thomas Evans (later knighted).
    I hope this information is of use.


    1. Thankyou so much for the additional information- I’ve updated the page. And I’ll keep an eye out for news of the opening. Best wishes, Julia


  2. Thanks for your prompt response, Julia.
    I wonder whether this return of the library to a Carnegie building after an absence of half a century is unique (rare, certainly, I would think!)
    Our publication – due later this year – will attempt to trace the history of both the library service and note the many and varied events and activities which have taken place in the Carnegie building over the years. We are actively seeking memories from members of our society and the general public.
    Two small points: our village name is SKEWEN; the architect was Joseph Cook Rees.
    All good wishes,


    1. Hello Julia.
      Following a week’s delay due to problems with fire alarms, the new library at Skewen opened on Monday, 9th March 2020. An official opening is to follow, we hear.
      A good collection of photographs is available on the following website: Currently images 1-15 are of the interior of the Carnegie building; images 16-21 are of the previous flat-roofed building which housed the village library between 1969 and 2020. Hopefully as part of our trawl locally, there will be some photographs from the first period of the Carnegie building’s years as a library (1905-1969).

      All good wishes,

      Liked by 1 person

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