Mexborough library

Brief description

Architects: Deacon and Hosburgh of Liverpool. Builder: George Saul of Rotherham.

Funding came from Carnegie, and FJO Montagu donated the land. The latter was a member of a wealthy local family, who also gave £1,500 towards the establishment of the Montagu Hospital, in Mexborough, in 1901.

Current status: Replaced by a new library, whihc opened in January 1993. From 2006, the building was refurbished and became an indian restaurant, known as the Spice library (2019)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £2,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): …”towards the end of May 1906 by Mr Kelley CC of Wath using a gold inscribed key.” (from Mexborough Heritage Society – newsletter February 1993 – archive no longer fully online)

Photo of library in 2019:

Mexborough-forblog

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Yes, during a holiday in Lincolnshire in November 2019. Unfortunately during the day, so the restaurant was closed and we couldn’t take a look inside.

Web links:

  • The Spice Library – restaurant website. Includes photo gallery – showing no remaining evidence of the library inside.

 

Rawmarsh library

Brief description

The present building dates from 1904, a fact noted on the commemorative plaque outside the front entrance. It is a traditional red brick building on the main Parkgate and Rawmarsh Road. Carnegie offered £3,000 to Rawmarsh Urban District Council in 1903, and a further £72 in 1906. The architect was Joseph Platts.

Current status: After closure (2011?), it was used as council offices, then news in 2016 confirmed plans to convert it to accommodation for ‘vulnerable young people’. (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1903
  • Amount of grant: £3000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 5 June 1905

Photo of library today (2008):

geograph-799528-by-alan-murray-rust

From Geograph © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Swinton library

Brief description

The library opened in 1906 and contained the living quarters for the librarian.  The design also incorporated a lecture room for educational purposes.  The library was re-modelled and re-furnished in 1932 (details and photos in the web link below).

Its use as a library was discontinued in 1990s when a new community library was opened in the shopping centre up the hill. ‘Carnegie House’ is now a series of flats. The florally embellished ‘Free Library’ lettering high up on the corner is still clearly seen.

Current status: Residential (2021)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £3000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 25 June 1906 by Sir William Holland MP

Photo of library in 2005:

geograph-065546-by-george-middletonFrom geograph© Copyright George Middleton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Old photo of library (postcard):

swinton

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

  • Website: Swinton heritage society
  • Links to some of the apartments which can be rented (contain lots of photos): The Bronte apartment – in what was the reading room, the Shakespeare apartment, and the Austen apartment  – in what was part of the large conference room, in the rounded end of the building.

Thorne library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid by James Servant, on 14 December 1903. The achitect was EH Ballan.

A rather damning report into public services in Thorne dated 1980 said that the library had problems of structural deficiency, and was not able to make use of the upper floor for public service. It went on to say the staff accommodation was inadequate, and the building was expensive to heat and maintain, but there were no plans to improve library provision in the town.

Current status: Closed in 2007. Sold in 2010. Current status: appears to be being refurbished as offices (2019)

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

Photo of library in 2019:

Thorne-forblog

When we visited, the library had been sold, and work was being done inside, but no clues as to its future use. And the old name plaque (seen below) has been covered by a board.

Details:

geograph-1743488-by-Richard-Croft

Photo credit: Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Old photo of library (postcard):

thorn

Visited?

Yes, during a holiday in Lincolnshire, November 2019. We visited the old building, and then went to the new library, which is colocated in a health centre, about 100m down the road. We were able to see more photos of the building, but limited information in the local history collection. More research needed! James Servant was clearly a local public official, but so far I haven’t discovered his actual role.

Web links:

  • Entry on Geograph (note, photo shows for sale sign, caption says ‘sold’)
  • National Archives: Plans of Thorne library (the record is a reference to plans stored in Doncaster archives)

Wombwell library

Brief description

The architect was AB Linford. The foundation stone was laid on 29 June 1905 by the Rev George Hadfield, chairman of the Education committee.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Barnsley MBC (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1903
  • Amount of grant: £3,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 17 March 1907

Photo of library today (2007):

geograph-534119-by-steve-fareham

Wombwell library, © Copyright Steve Fareham and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

  • Entry on the waymarking site – includes a photo of the foundation stone.

Penistone library

Brief description

The architect was Henry R Collins. The doors are marked with a small ‘AC’ monogram in stained glass, and ‘Carnegie Free Library’ is carved on the stone lintel.

Current status: Replaced by a new library in the 1960s. Now used as council offices. (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: Carnegie matched the funding raised by local people.
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1913

Photo of library today (2007):

geograph-513138-by-david-ward

Penistone library, © Copyright David Ward and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

  • Article about the current library, contains a brief reference to the Carnegie funded library

Bolton-on-Dearne library

Brief description

The architect was John Walker Wilson.

Current status: The public library closed in 1973, the building is now a boxing club (B.O.D.Y – Bolton on Dearne Youth, in the Carnegie Centre) (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1903, 1905 or 1906 [3 different sources]

Photo of library today:

Not yet obtained.

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

  • B.O.D.Y – the current occupants
  • Welcome to Barnsley website: Goldthorpe (contains info about Bolton on Dearne)

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:

3423806119_121dabf0c9_z

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

tinsley

Visited?

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).

Walkley library

Brief description

Following a competition, the architect chosen was Henry Leslie Patterson, of Hemsoll & Patterson, and his design is in the tudor revival style. Carnegie agreed to provide £3,500 in two stages for the construction of the library with the proviso that Sheffield Libraries Committee consented to spend no less than £230 per annum on its upkeep. Construction began in August 1904 and the builder was Daniel O’Neill. The foundation stone was laid on 9 August 1904 by Alderman Brittain. The building was complete at the end of 1905 after 16 months of work.

The library was extended in 1924, and there were internal alterations in 1954.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1993.

Current status: Still open as a public library, although it has become what is known in Sheffield as an associate library: supported by a grant, and run independently by volunteers   (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £3,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): December 1905, by Herbert Hughes, Lord Mayor of Sheffield.

Photo of library in 2009:

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Yes, in 2009

Web links and further reading: