Harrogate library

Brief description

Designed by Henry T Hare, it was originally planned to be part of a much bigger ‘municipal palace’ – but only the library was ever built. The foundation stone was laid on 17 October 1904 by Alderman Horace Milling JP, Mayor of Harrogate.

Underwent a £3.4 million restoration which was completed in 2010 and was reopened by the Duke of Gloucester in 2011.

The library was awarded Grade II listing in 1975.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by North Yorkshire county council (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £7,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 24 January 1906, by the Rt Rev GW Kennion, Bishop of Bath and Wells

Photo of library today (2011):




Foundation stone


Library plaque (outside)


Bronze plaque (inside)

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet


Yes, on a misty day in 2011.

Web links:


Middlesbrough library

Brief description

The first announcement of the offer by Andrew Carnegie of funding for the erection of a new public library for Middlesbrough was made at a meeting of the Free Library and Museum Committee in 1908. 203 designs were submitted and Mr Edwin Cooper FRIBA was appointed architect. Mr Henry McNaughton’s tender for construction was accepted and the foundation stone was laid by Councillor Walter Roberts.

One feature to note, you can still see the separate entrance which gave access to the Juvenile Library (its name is carved in stone above the door). This is described in the architects’ description as: “the secondary entrance which gives access to the Juvenile Library enabling children to approach it without entering that part of the building where their presence is not desired”. The library also contained a ladies’ reading room and general newsroom.

Current status: a public library operated by Middlesbrough Borough Council.

  • Year grant given (if known): January 1908 and foundation stone laid 2 May 1910
  • Amount of grant: £15,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): opened by Alderman Amos Hinton JP on 8 May 1912

Photo of library today:




The reference room

Unfortunately, while there are shiny brass plaques giving details of all involved in opening the library, they are behind equally shiny perspex, so my photos contain more reflections than detail!

Old photo of library (postcard):


There is still an open space in front of this library, and trees, but no bandstand.


I visited this library in July 2016. Downstairs was busy, and there were a couple of people reading in the wonderful upstairs reading room.

Web links: