Manchester Law Library

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The Manchester Law Library Manchester Law Library.jpg
The Manchester Law Library

The former Manchester Law Library is a Grade II* listed building [1] in the Venetian Gothic [2] style at 14 Kennedy Street, Manchester. "The building is noteworthy by virtue of having been built for the purposes of a law library and, London and the old universities aside, it is believed to have performed this function for a period longer than any other provincial law library". [3]

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Contents

Reading Room Manchester Law Library 5.JPG
Reading Room

Designed by Thomas Hartas, [2] the library was built by William Holt between 1884 and 1885 [3] to provide a meeting place, and reading room, for the Manchester Law Society. The building has a fine Venetian Gothic facade, "three bays, each divided into three again with richly traceried and strongly moulded frames to the openings". [2] Internally, a lending library is located on the ground floor, "now with twentieth century furnishings. [2] On the first floor, a reading room "with most of the (slightly rearranged) attractive, original fittings." [4] These include the central oak table, three fireplaces, and tall bookcases, some set at right angles to the walls to maximise the available storage space. The "stained glass is a noteworthy feature (including) three roundels containing the images of bewigged judges". [3] Offices are above this.

Thomas Hartas is an elusive architect. The Manchester Incorporated Law Library Society website describes him as "famous" [5] although it is hard to determine whence his fame derives as the Library appears to be his only documented building. Hartas also appears not to have an entry in the RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 which is an exhaustive survey of practising architects of the period. [6]

In 2015 the building was put up for sale. The Law Library relocated to new premises on Deansgate where it remains a private library open only to subscribing members of the legal profession.

See also

Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester Wikimedia list article

There are 236 Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester, England. In the United Kingdom, the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance; Grade II* structures are those considered to be "particularly significant buildings of more than local interest". In England, the authority for listing under the Planning Act 1990 rests with English Heritage, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Manchester is a city in Northwest England. The M2 postcode area of the city includes part of the city centre, including the Central Retail District. The postcode area contains 143 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, five are listed at Grade I, the highest of the three grades, 16 are at Grade II*, the middle grade, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade.

Notes

  1. Good Stuff IT Services (1974-10-03). "Manchester Law Library 14 - Manchester - Greater Manchester - England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Nikolaus Pevsner The Buildings of England - Lancashire: Manchester and the South East; p. 315
  3. 1 2 3 D. J. Higginson, The Manchester Law Library: a Short History 1820-1885
  4. Clare Hartwell, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Manchester; p. 161
  5. "The Manchester Incorporated Law Library Society - History". manchester-law-library.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  6. "Directory of British Architects 1834-1914: A-K - Antonia Brodie, British Architectural Library - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 1906-06-11. Retrieved 2012-02-16.

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References

See also

Coordinates: 53°28′48″N2°14′37″W / 53.4799°N 2.2437°W / 53.4799; -2.2437

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

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