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:

4-south-1-small

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:

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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:

3-north-1-small

Details:

3-north-2-small

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:

Shipley library

Brief description

Current status: No longer a library. When we saw it in 2011 (see below) it looked very sad. Apparently there had been many plans since it closed, but none had come to fruition. The most recent was a plan to incorporate the building into a new development. See below for link, the plan was: “the relocation of historic Carnegie Library, which will be transported, stone by stone, from its current location and converted into six residential apartments.” Update (Sept 2016) – as the new article linked below states, the relocation plan has fallen through and the owner is reconsidering. The building has at least been tidied up and trees removed.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £3,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1905

Photo of library today [in 2011]:

5538069759_e2da4bf938_z (1)

Old photo of library (postcard):

Not yet in my collection

Visited?

Drove past in 2011

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: