Shakespeare Mosaic Library Building - Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Poole/Freeman
N 53° 00.129 W 002° 11.215
30U E 554563 N 5872818
Quick Description: This mosaic of Shakespeare is located on the former library buildings on London Road in Stoke.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/11/2017 1:57:50 PM
Waymark Code: WMV7YF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Free Public Library building is a Grade 11 listed building located on London Road in Stoke. It was purpose built as a library and Shakespeare Institute and opened in 1878.

The site was donated by Colin Minton Campbell M.P who was one of Herbert Mintons's nephews. It was designed by Charles Lynam and was built by local contractor John Gallimore, costs were subscribed by Thomas William Minton. The building as well as providing a free public library, provided a canteen for local workers within the its basement.

"It is built from a variety of local materials, including red and blue brick, terracotta, and tiles. The most interesting features are the circular windows on the upper ground floor and the Shakespeare mosaic on the facade.

"The first move to form a public library in Stoke was made in 1846 when a Dr. Garner formed a society called the Stoke-upon-Trent Athenaeum. Shortly afterwards the society occupied a wing at the Town Hall and gradually accumulated a fine museum and a library of nearly 3,000 volumes, maintained by members' subscription.

After incorporation of the Borough the ratepayers unanimously adopted the Public Free Libraries Act in March, 1875. The council had then to consider how to put this resolution into effect. The sum of £1,308 was promised in donations, and the Athenaeum Committee offered their library and museum, supplemented by a subscription of £150. The Library Committee had no hesitation in accepting these generous gifts.

It became necessary to provide a building which could serve both as a museum and a free library. A valuable and central site was offered by Mr. Colin Minton Campbell, M.P.; another donor helped, on condition that a canteen for workpeople was made available in the basement - which, until recently, still possessed the beams with hooks from which sides of bacon were hung.

The designer of the building was Charles Lynan, and the contractor, John Gallimore, of Newcastle. The cost was £2,850.

The foundation stone was laid on December 10th, 1877, by Lord Wrottesley, Lord Lieutenant of the County, and the building formally opened by Mr. Colin Minton Campbell, on November 7th, 1878, during the Mayoralty of Alderman T. W. Minton, but books were not issued until December 20th, after the compilation of a new catalogue and the classification of the museum.

In 1882 the library began experimental opening on Sundays but, after four years, it was stopped, because it was being frequented only by "noisy and destructive children."
Neville Malkin 2nd June 1976. Source: (visit link)

"Beneath a band of decorative terracotta are a series of large-scale tile panels that surround the whole building creating a significant decorative architectural feature. Sadly these tile panels are in very poor condition and the once no doubt exquisite designs are now badly faded. However, a stunning focal point mosaic that depicts Shakespeare adorns the frontage and remains in good condition. A second mosaic panel offers a description about the building featured that offers a description of the background and those responsible for achieving the Museum and the Library that 'were opened for free use of the Burgesses, Nov 7th 1879'"
Source: (visit link)
London Road,
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

Related web site: [Web Link]

Specific visit requirements: Not listed

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Mike_bjm visited Shakespeare Mosaic Library Building - Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. 6/30/2017 Mike_bjm visited it
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