Manor Park library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid on 2 June 1904 by Passmore Edwards (another philanthropist who funded libraries).

Awarded Grade II listing in 1974

Current status: The library closed c 2012. After lying empty for 3 years, funding was found to transform it. Now a “workspace for creative business” (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £5,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 3 August 1905 by the Rt Hon James Bryce MP.

Photo of library today (2009):

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Details:

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Another library that features a bust of Andrew Carnegie

Old photo of library (postcard):

manor-park

Visited?

Yes, in 2009.

Web links:

Lea Bridge library

Brief description

Designed by W Jacques. In 2021, the library was extended with a new section built on the right hand side. Described as a “contemporary oak and glass extension”, as the library is a listed building, planning requirements stipulated that the new build element should not resemble a traditional extension, but should appear to ‘float’ separately alongside the old building.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1986

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Waltham Forest council (2021)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1905

Photo of library in 2009:

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Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Yes, in 2009, but didn’t go inside. Update 2021: the new extension looks good – perhaps it is time to plan a revisit.

Web links:

Kingston upon Thames library

Brief description

New library was planned in 1900. It was designed by Alfred Cox (who also designed the neighbouring museum and art gallery). Initially a loan of £6,000 was raised, but when the cost exceeded the estimate,  Carnegie awarded a grant of £2,000 and came to open the new library. According to Julian McCarthy’s book: Secret Kingston upon Thames through time, Carnegie was “so impressed, that he cleared all debts and thus enabled Kingston museum to be built.”

Awarded Grade II listing in 1973.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by The Royal Borough of Kingston council (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £2,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known):  11 May 1903, by Andrew Carnegie.

Photo of library in 2011:

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Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

kingstononthames

Visited?

Yes, in 2011, but it was closed, so we couldn’t see inside.

Web links:

  • Entry on the listed buildings register
  • On the centenary of Carnegie’s death (11/8/2019), Kingston library tweeted a photo of the opening day. It illustrates a comment made in the R4 programme broadcast on 11/8 – Carnegie was a very short man!

Teddington library

Brief description

Built in 1906, and designed by a famous victorian/edwardian architect, Henry Cheers. Pevsner was a bit rude about his design, calling it: “jolly Baroque with two scrolly gables”.

The library was refurbished in 2008, reopening in April 2009.

Awarded Grade II listing in 2011. Nb the listing (linked below) provides more information than usual about public libraries and the architect.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by London Borough of Richmond on Thames (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1906

Photo of library today (2011):

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Details:

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Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Yes, in 2011

Web links:

Islington South library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid by Alderman JS Elliott JP, Mayor of Islington, on 30 May 1915. The architect was Mervyn E Macartney. The building was completed December 1916 during the mayoralty of Alderman Sir George Elliot, but not opened officially until 1921. I guess WWI intervened.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Islington Council (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 21 May 1921 by the Mayor Cllr EH King JP

Photo of library today:

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Details:

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Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Thanks to a friend who has just moved to Islington, we had the excuse to visit all 4 of the libraries endowed by Carnegie in August 2016. All 4 are still open as public libraries, and all 4 were open on a Saturday. This library was also really busy when I popped in. The entrance hall is panelled in grey and white marble, but the nicest surprise was the oval stairwell at the back – with pretty iron balustrades and an oval skylight.

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Web links:

Islington North library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid by AM Torrance JP, Mayor of Islington, on 28 October 1905
The architect was Henry T Hare (also responsible for central library)

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Islington Council (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £7,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 29 September 1906, by Alderman Henry Mills JP, Mayor of Islington

Photo of library today:

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Details:

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Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Thanks to a friend who has just moved to Islington, we had the excuse to visit all 4 of the libraries endowed by Carnegie in August 2016. All 4 are still open as public libraries, and all 4 were open on a Saturday. The North branch was lovely inside, while the front is rectangular and almost symmetrical, the back is semi circular. Downstairs, this is the section that has the computers and lots of reading spaces, while upstairs, at the front there is a lecture room, and the back is the childrens library (a change from the original design, as it used to be on the ground floor at the front – as confirmed by the names painted on the entrance doors). The childrens library still has the original shelving all around the edge, but is also bright and colourful in decoration and the additional moveable shelves.

Web links:

Islington Central library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid by Alderman Henry Mills JP, Mayor of Islington, on 16 June 1906. The architect was Henry T Hare, and the builder was CP Roberts. Enlarged in the mid 1970s. The stone front has 2 statues: on the right -Bacon, on the left – Spenser.

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

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £20,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 4 October 1907 by Sir Arthur Rucker, principal of the University of London

Photo of library today (2018):

P1170492-forblog

Details:

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Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Thanks to a friend who has just moved to Islington, we had the excuse to visit all 4 of the libraries endowed by Carnegie in August 2016. All 4 are still open as public libraries, and all 4 were open on a Saturday. Central library was probably the most surprising, as while the stone facade on Holloway Road is impressive, the library has been hugely extended and most of it is now out the back. The door with its impressive stone porch now leads to a childrens  centre. and the library entrance is in the new section. It was absolutely buzzing, with loads of visitors, reading, using the computers and choosing books. Upstairs is the childrens section, which had a lively display based around participation in the Summer Reading Challenge, and one young lad was being quizzed on the book he had just read.

Visited again in 2018 – spent a bit of time in the lovely vaulted roofed reference room, and heard about their plans for refurbishment.

Web links:

Islington West library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid on 30 June 1906, by Cllr TF Bryen. The architect was Beresford Pite, and the builders were C Dearing and Sons

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Islington Council (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £3,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 24 July 1907

Photo of library today:

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Details:

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Original sign still in the entrance hall (which specifically mentions that ‘Situations Vacant’ will be exhibited there from 7am daily.)

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Thanks to a friend who has just moved to Islington, we had the excuse to visit all 4 of the libraries endowed by Carnegie in August 2016. All 4 are still open as public libraries, and all 4 were open on a Saturday. West was probably the quietest of the 4 – maybe as the children’s library was closed over lunch? but it wasn’t empty.This building is bigger than it looks – there is a lecture theatre in the basement, the main section on the left hand side ground floor, and the childrens section to the right. Upstairs the former reading room appears to be no longer used by the library. Lots of original features still in place, but also new and bright furniture.

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Web links:

Woolwich library

Brief description

Erected by the Woolwich Local Board of Health. The architects were Messrs. Church, Quick and Whincop.

Awarded Grade II listing in 2007.

Current status: Closed in 2011, I don’t know what the plans are for this building.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 8 November 1901, by Lord Avebury

Photo of library in 2011:

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Old photo of library (postcard):

woolwich

Visited?

We visited I think just after it had closed in 2011 – so the library signs were all still in evidence.

Web links:

Eltham library

Brief description

The architect was Maurice B. Adams. Borough of Woolwich is carved in the stone above the former entrance – another illustration of how borders have shifted in London, as this library is now in Greenwich.

Awarded Grade II listing in 2000.

Current status: Still a library [2016], but now part of the modern “Eltham Centre” – which also contains a leisure centre and cafe. I’m glad they kept the frontage – and yes, the library is still behind those windows, but that is no longer the front door. The centre’s entrance is around the corner.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1906

Photo of library today:

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Old photo of library (postcard):

eltham

Visited?

We visited in 2011, and had a quick wander round the new Eltham centre.

Web links: