Heckmondwike library

Brief description

A large, two-storied stone building with ornate gable-ends. The Clerk of Heckmondwike Urban District Council applied to Carnegie for a grant in 1902 and was offered £2,500 (Carnegie gave a further £38 in 1908). The grant was on condition that a private individual donated the land. The architect was Henry Stead, a local man, and the site was given by Sir Thomas Firth (of Firth’s Carpets), who also gave £100 for books. The building had tiled dados, oak furniture and hot water heating. The newsroom was on the ground floor and the lending library, reference section and workroom were on the first. Part of the ground floor was used as a rates office. Although modernised inside many of the old features remain.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Kirklees council (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1902
  • Amount of grant: £2,538
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 25 January 1911 – confirmed by an article in the Cleckheaton Guardian of 27 January 1911 [although material from the local history library states that the reading rooms were opened in February 1901]

Photo of library today (2009):

geograph-1299914-by-Betty-Longbottom

Photo credit: Betty Longbottom and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet, but there are 2 old photos of the library on the Kirklees images site

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