Llandrindod Wells library

Brief description

The architect was Alec W. Millward, and the library was built in 1911. The museum room opened in 1930. 

Current status: The library relocated in 1971 to a former hotel (which also contains council offices). The building is now home to the Radnorshire museum (2022)

  • Year grant given: 1906
  • Amount of grant: £1,500
  • Year opened: Saturday 27 July, 1912 by J Luther Greenway, former High Sheriff of Radnorshire. [The same day as the Grand Pavillion nearby was opened] 

Photo of library in 2022:

Former library – now the Radnorshire museum.

Details:

Brochure of the opening ceremony (seen in the Radnorshire museum)

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Yes, as we drove home after a holiday in North Wales. The museum is worth a visit, and still retains some of the original features from the library – a stained glass fanlight above the main door and mosaic tiles in the entrance lobby. The words “Free Library” which used to be abov ethe door have been replaced by a board saying “Amgueddfa – Museum”.  It contains information about the founding of the library, and a copy of the brochure for the opening ceremony (above).

Web links:

Brynmawr library

Brief description

The architect was Francis Ross Bates. The site was presented by the Duke of Beaufort. It was built by a local contractor: John Jenkins of Brynmawr.

From the ‘Out of the Blue artifacts’ website: In September 1902 the Brynmawr district council proposed to ask for funds from the Carnegie Fund for help in establishing a free library and set up a ‘Carnegie Free Library committee’ to oversee proceedings. … On Wednesday 1 July a letter was received offering £1.250. It came with the condition that £300 be raised locally. …. In July 1904 it was resolved to ask FR Bates of Newport to draw up the plans. The Duke of Beaufort had given the land and contributed £50 to the fund. Mr Charles Morley (who had handled the original communication with Carnegie) also gave a donation of £50.  The first librarian appointed was Mr James Thomas of Brynmawr.

Current status: After the library closed, it reopened as a museum in December 2003. Initially sharing the building with the council’s open learning centre – which was on the ground floor, when the centre was given new premises, the council offered to lease the whole building to the museum. The building was closed, refurbished, and reopened in July 2006.  (2021)

  • Year grant given: 1903
  • Amount of grant: £1,250
  • Year opened (and by who): Wednesday 18 October 1905, by Llewelyn Thomas JP, chairman of the district council.

Photo of library in 2009:

Brynmawr and District Museum
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Jaggery – geograph.org.uk/p/1820129

Details:

Old photo of library (c1907):

Martin Ridley, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

  • Brynmawr library and institute – website: Out of the Blue artifacts. Contains a thorough timeline with details of names and dates or the process leading up to contruction of the library.
  • Brynmawr museum website: About the museum

Grantham library

Brief description

Grantham was late among Lincolnshire communities in applying for a grant for a Carnegie library. Rather than apply for funds directly to Andrew Carnegie through his private secretary, James Bertram, they dealt with the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, which was set up in 1913.

The architects were Gilbert. A. Ballard (borough surveyor) and H. A. Gold

A metal plaque, which used to be inside in the entranceway and is now mounted on the outside of the Grantham building, acknowledges that: ‘This building was provided by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust and the Corporation of Grantham. Opened on the 6th day of May 1926 by Sir Charles C.E. Welby, Bart. C.B ‘ [from the article by David Lambourne – see link below]

Current status: No longer a public library. It now houses the town’s museum. (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened: 6 May 1926 by Sir Charles Welby, Bart.

Photo of library in 2020:

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):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Southend library

Brief description

Designed by Henry Thomas Hare. The building was extended in 1926 to accommodate a children’s section. The library closed in 1974 when a new Central Library was erected next door.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1974.

Current status: After being closed for 6 years while it was refurbished and converted, it opened as the town’s museum in 1981. Although a new museum was planned for 2013, as far as I know, it’s still in the Carnegie building. (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £8,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 24th July 1906 by Sir Horace Brooks Marshall Kt.

Photo of library in 2020:

(note, I think this must have been taken from the side, as other photos of Southend museum show it does still have the small cupola shown on the postcard below. It does indicate however the substantial extension to the original building.)

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):

southend

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Worthing library

Brief description

The building was erected on the old Richmond House site and the architect was Henry A. Crouch A.R.I.B.A., much of the cost being born by Andrew Carnegie, Sir Robert Loder and Alfred Curtis. The success of the library owed much to the energy and vision of the Borough Librarian and Curator, Miss Marian Frost , who had been appointed to the post in 1901. She wrote to Carnegie, who refused at first, as “the town already had a library”. She persevered, explaining how inadequate it was, and he eventually agreed.  The library continued in this location until 1975, when the new Worthing Library was built in Richmond Road.

Carnegie visited in May 1909, and was given the Freedom of the Borough.

Current status: Now just houses Worthing museum and art gallery (2017)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £6,200
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 14 December 1908, by the Rt Hon Sir H Aubrey-Fletcher Bart, CB, MP

Photo of library today (2017):

P1130320forblog

Details:

P1130318forblog

Old photo of library (postcard):

worthing

Visited?

Yes, during a family weekend in West Sussex in September 2017. The former library on the left hand side is closed off at the moment, but we were allowed through to take a photo of the plaque. There are lots of original features still there, and the museum person told us they do have plans to renovate and reopen it, adding to the space the museum occupies.

Web links:

Calne library

Brief description

The architects were Smith and Marshall, and the building is described in the listing as being of “Eclectic Tudor and Jacobean Revival style.”

Awarded Grade II listing in 1976.

Current status: Closed as a library in 2001, when the new library opened. Reopened as Calne Heritage Centre (2016)

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

Photo of library in 2020:

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

Details:

25962571232_deba0e6677_z

Photo credit: flickr user Michael Day (shared under CC licence)

Old photo of library (postcard):

calne

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Melton Mowbray library

Brief description

The foundation stone was laid in July 1905 and the library was opened just 4 months later. the architect was Edmund Jeeves.

Current status: The library closed in the 1970s, and was refurbished as a museum. (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened: 26 October 1905, by Mr William Willcox (who I think is likely the town councillor who did a lot to ensure the library was built)

Photo of library in 2010:

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Details:

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This stained glass used to be in (or above) the front door of the library. It is now inside the museum. The central shield is the town coat of arms, but apparently the lion is facing the wrong way.

Postcard of library:

meltonmowbray

Visited?

Yes, in 2010 – long after it had become a museum.

Web links:

Pontefract library

Brief description

Intriguingly, when citizens of Pontefract were first asked (in 1897) whether they wanted a free library, 700 voted against, and only 150 for. When Carnegie was initially approached by a newspaper, he replied that it seemed the people did not want a library, however when the Town Clerk wrote to him, he agreed to award funding.

The architects of this beautiful art nouveau style library were Garside and Pennington, whose plans were provided in 1903. Apparently George Pennington, a devout Methodist, tendered his services free of charge. Construction started in 1904, and the library was built by Henry Gundill. The mosaic in the entrance hall says ‘Free Library 1904’ -although it wasn’t officially opened until 1905.

It was awarded Grade II listing in 1975.

Current status: No longer a public library, when the new library was built,this building became the town’s museum in 1978. (still is: 2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £2,588 (initially £2250, but they overran)
  • Year opened: 21 September 1905 by JG Lyon JP.

Photo of building today (2011):

Pontefract-800

Details:

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The beautiful art nouveau interior is at its best in the tiled entrance hall.

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Yes, in 2011, and spent a while digging up background information about the library in the local history collection.

Web links: