Brierley Hill library

Brief description

Designed by the borough surveyor to Brierley Hill, Lewis Harper and built by CA Horton. The Technical Institute and Library was designed to accommodate the two functions of a public, free library and a technical institute to train the many apprentices in the local glass industry. Carnegie gave £2,000 towards the library building in 1901 and the rest of the cost was borne by Brierley Hill Urban District Council. The foundation stone was laid in April 1903, and the building opened in 1904.

The brick and terracotta used were locally produced by the Ketley Brick Company, and the sculptures of Learning and Art were modelled by Arthur Gibbons and Albert Oakden who were, respectively, headmaster and assistant of the School of Art.

The building continued to operate as a technical institute for the glass industry throughout the C20 but the Moor Street Glass centre closed in 2009.

Awarded Grade II listing in 2012.

Current status: Library closed in 1970. It housed offices in 2016. Current status unknown – but I think from streetview images of 5 Moor Street, Brierley Hill, Dudley, DY5 3EP, the building may be unoccupied. The Shelf Life project (link below) lists it as a building ‘at risk’. 

  • Year grant given (if known): 1901
  • Amount of grant: £2,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 15 February 1904, by Mark Rollinson, Chairman of the Free Library Committee

Photo of library today:

Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

brierleyhill

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