Thursday 20 June 2024
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HRH The Duke of Gloucester marks the bicentenary of Nottingham’s oldest surviving library

The library on Angel Row in Nottingham city centre, is the city's oldest surviving library and was established in 1816.

HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, KG GCVO, visited Bromley House Library today to mark the bicentenary of the library moving into the building, and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the completion of recent extensive building works.

The Duke, who is a first cousin of HM Queen Elizabeth II, studied architecture at Cambridge University in the 1960s and after qualifying practiced as an architect for a number of years. His visit to Bromley House was one of three engagements he carried out in Nottinghamshire on Thursday.

Bromley House Library, a charity, completed work on a new roof and refurbished attics rooms just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020.

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The repair project totalled over £750,000 and was part-funded by a £385,646 grant from Historic England.

The work removed the building from Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’ and protected the collection of nearly 50,000 books, some of them dating back centuries.

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It also breathed new life into the attic spaces of the library, making them more usable for the 1,500 members of the library.

The library, situated on Angel Row in Nottingham city centre, is Nottingham’s oldest surviving library and was established in 1816.

The building itself is even older, dating back to 1752, and is an impressive Grade II* listed Georgian townhouse, built for the grandson of the founder of Smith’s Bank. The library moved into the building in 1821 making 2021 the bicentenary of the library in the building.

The Duke is photographed with Maggie Else, Chair of Bromley House Library, as he unveiled a plaque commemorating both the bicentenary and the transformational building work which has secured the future of this important local landmark. Members of the library were also invited to meet with The Duke and share their experiences of the library.

Melanie Duffill-Jeffs, Library Director, said “We are honoured that HRH The Duke of Gloucester was able to include a visit to the library as part of his engagements in the county and to spend time with us to celebrate our bicentenary in this building. With the disruption caused by COVID, we’ve been unable to formally recognise the building work completed last year or this very important date in our own history until now. This event gave us the opportunity to do that, and for that we are very grateful.”

The library remains open to members and to enquiries about membership.

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