LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
|Although a part of the same block
of buildings, the Library and the Museum and Art Gallery were treated separately when the
foundation stones were laid on October 16th 1907. That for the Library was laid by
the Mayor, Mr J F Winnicott while the one for the Museum and Art Gallery was laid by
Alderman T Brock, JP, chairman of the Museum and Art Gallery Committee. Dr Andrew
Carnegie contributed £15,000 towards the cost of the Library.
The building was designed by Messrs Thornley & Rooke of Plymouth and the contractors, Messrs Pethick Brothers Ltd, also of Plymouth, started work on the site on December 9th 1907. The final cost of the work is said to have been £15,627 14s 6d for the Library and £13,313 9s 9d for the Museum.
Laying the foundation stone of the Museum.
There was a dual opening ceremony on October 25th 1910, when the Mayor, Alderman J Yeo together with architect Mr Lionel Thornley, opened the Library and Alderman T Brook, chairman of the Museum and Art Gallery Committee, along with the Deputy Mayor, Alderman R W Winnicott, and Mr Rooke, opened the Museum part of the building. It was destroyed in the Blitz on the night of April 22nd/23rd 1941 but the Lord Mayor, Lord Astor, reopened it in the August of that year on a temporary basis.
HRH the Princess Margaret unveiled a stone on May 20th 1954, commemorating the start of the rebuilding of the City and which is now in the foyer of the Library building. Designed by the City Architect, Mr H J W Stirling, it is measures 10 feet by 5 feet and is of polished green Westmorland slate. It is set in skirting of polished Ashburton marble. The Library was reopened on February 22nd 1956 by Sir Peter Scott, whose family had lived in Outlands House at Milehouse.
Updated 9 September 2003