History of St Annes Library

History of St Annes Library

There are over 110 years to the History of St Annes Library – a beautiful grade 2 listed building which opened in 1906.

Temporary Closure of St Annes Library

St Annes library closed in August 2017 after some of the plaster fell from the ceiling.

As it’s a listed building, specialist heritage surveyors have been  brought in to help Lancashire County Council surveyors.

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Heritage conservation surveys have been carried out to inform what repairs are needed. This includes work to the masonry windows, foundations to the 1930s extension, weather sealing, roof trusses and the cupola.

It’s unknown exactly how long this work will take and when it will reopen. But the building has to be made fully fit for purpose for its future use.

Over 100 Years in the History of St Annes Library

Opening plaque tells the history of St Annes Library
Opening plaque tells the history of St Annes Library

The land was gifted to the Urban District Council by the St Annes on the Sea Land and Building Company.

The building itself was paid for by Andrew Carnegie. Hence it is known as St Annes Carnegie Library. Andrew Carnegie was an American philanthropist and benefactor of public libraries. The then Chairman of the Urban District Council had approached him for a donation, and received £3500.

Apparently the building process was not straightforward, but the foundation stone was laid in 1904. St Annes Library officially opened on 10 January 1906.

Lancashire County Council took over running of the library service in 1974.

History of St Annes Library and garden
St Annes Library and garden

This description of the building comes from the St Anne’s on the Sea Express of 10 January 1906 – “It is convenient and effective in arrangements and presents an imposing appearance. The style is an adaptation of Victorian Renaissance……The main entrance leads through to a vestibule to a large octagonal hall. Lighted by clerestory windows and surmounted by a domed roof. On the right side of the entrance hall is a niche containing a bust of Sir Walter Scott.” Pevsner’s Buildings of England – Lancashire: North describes the building as “…..every inch the early 20C Carnegie Library. Low, Baroque of red brick and buff terracotta with a corner entrance flanked by tiny oculi and an octagonal domed tower rising behind. Light and airy inside, with a range of low arches to one side and friendly bays on the other”.

Entrance to and History of St Annes Library
Entrance to St Annes Library

The extension to the library was opened in 1932.

Inside the Junior library - history of St Annes Library
Inside the Junior library – history of St Annes Library

Find out More

Have a look at the Visit St Annes website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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