Posted: Tue 8th Aug 2023

Gladstone’s Library to get a near £800,000 facelift thanks to National Heritage Memorial Fund

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 8th, 2023

Historic Grade 1 listed Gladstone’s Library is to undergo major repairs and restoration thanks to funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund

The library, situated in Hawarden, will undergo major repairs and restoration thanks to support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF).

As part of the NHMF Covid-19 Response Fund, the Library has received £777,246 to help undertake major repairs to this historic building including the entrance porch, the roof, and the Reading Room ceiling. 

This work had originally been intended to take place in 2020/21 but sadly had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent 18-month enforced closure of the Library due to lockdowns.

Andrea Russell, Warden at Gladstone’s Library said,

“We are delighted to be awarded a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. This funding will make a huge difference to our charity and will be used to help repair, renovate, and conserve our Grade 1 listed Library.”

“As a working research and residential Library, readers, writers, and visitors will still be able to access and enjoy our nationally and internationally important collections whilst the restoration work is taking place.”

Andrea went on to say, “It will be a fascinating to see the restoration and repairs take shape and we are looking forward to sharing how things progress with our supporters via our website and social media.”

Dr Simon Thurley, Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said,

“I am thrilled that the National Heritage Memorial Fund are able to support Gladstone’s Library with this vital grant to safeguard its future, particularly after the challenges that the global pandemic has thrown at the structure and the people who devote such care to it.”

“Gladstone’s Library is a testament to the rich heritage of Wales, and the UK more widely, and is a notable example of how heritage shapes our lives and the places in which we live.”

He said: “We’re tremendously proud to have provided a lifeline for some of Wales’s incredible heritage sites and assets through the Covid-19 Response Fund – from castles and churches to libraries – helping them to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.”

The Grade I listed library in Hawarden is recognised as one of the most important research libraries and collections in Wales.

It is the UK’s only Prime Ministerial library and was built following a bequest from William Ewart Gladstone, Victorian statesman and four times Prime Minister of Great Britain.

It is home to internationally significant collections including the Gladstone Foundation Collection, donated from his personal library which contained over 32,000 volumes.

Many of the books in the Library contain Gladstone’s handwritten annotations.

The Library also houses most of Gladstone’s non-political correspondence, speeches, and papers, as well as the Glynne-Gladstone Archive.

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