Brick walls with Stone or Terracotta dressings

Detail of Hollow Brick Walls with Stone Dressings. From Searles-Wood, H. D., & Adams, H. (1921). Modern building. London, Gresham. V.1 p.63

In the Midlands and South East of England, the most common materials used for Carnegie Library (and many other public and institutional) buildings of the time, were red brick with contrasting stone or terracotta dressings. Our detailed study of Toxteth library showed that hollow walls were used in its construction but that these were significantly more substantial than the single skin cavity walls that became the norm later in the century.

Toxteth Library – 1902 Liverpool. Architect: Thomas Shelmerdine. Parametric model detail and plan detail showing external wall
construction (© Mahdi Boughanmi). Public Library Quarterly

Whilst Pevsner noted the eye-catching striped Tipton Library in Birmingham to be the architectural highlight of the town, the most enterprising use of terracotta dressings for a Carnegie library in the UK is probably at Manor Park Library in East London. The building was designed by a Scottish architect, Adam Horsburgh Campbell who was later noted for his experimentation with concrete[i].

Detail: Manor Park Library, London, 1905 Architect: Adam Horsburgh Campbell (Borough Surveyor).

Meanwhile the most inventive use of stone dressings and contrasting red brick is at Failsworth, Manchester. The design was won against 50 entries in competition with rather faint praise from its judge, Mr George H. Willoughby FRIBA, of Manchester: “The elevations are in a semi-Elizabethan manner, treated in the Manchester way, like a recent large school design, which was the subject of much controversy in the district. While suitable in this case, the treatment is not suitably dignified to warrant its adoption for other similar public buildings” The Builder’s Journal April 17, 1907.

Detail: Failsworth Library, Manchester, 1909 – Architects: Messrs Ernest Ogden and Percy C Hoy.

Our study has identified 203 such buildings remaining in the UK:

Library NameDesigned byDatePostcode
Accrington Carnegie Public LibraryWilliam J. Newton (Borough Engineer)1908BB5 1NQ
Ashby LibraryW.H.Buttrick1906DN16 2JX
Ashton in Makerfield LibraryJ. B. & W. Thornley1906WN4 9BH
Askam LibraryW. Richardson (District Surveyor) 1905LA16 7AQ
Atherton LibraryArthur John Hope (Bradshaw, Gass and Hope)1905M46 9JH
Baldridgeburn LibraryHugh & David Barclay1909KY12 9EH
Banbridge Free Library and Technical SchoolHenry William Edward Hobart1902BT32 3JY
Bangor Carnegie LibraryErnest L. Woods (town surveyor)1910BT20 4AJ
Bangor Public LibraryDixon & Potter1907LL57 1DT
Barry LibraryCharles Edward Hutchinson and A. H. Payne1906CF63 4RW
Battle library (one of 2 branches for Reading)F.W.Albury1908RG30 1EE
Belfast – Carnegie Old parkWatt and Tullock1906BT14 6FR
Belfast – Donegall Road Carnegie LibraryWatt and Tullock1909BT12 5JL
Belfast – Falls Road LibraryWatt and Tullock1908BT12 4PD
Benwell and Fenham LibraryF.H. Holford1909NE4 8XS
Beoley carnegie reading room William Frederick Edwards1905B98 9AN
Bethnal Green Library James Tolley1922E2 0HL
Bideford Library and MuseumA.J. Dunn1906EX39 2HR
Birkenhead South Branch LibraryJ.R. Mewton 1908CH42 3UZ
Birmingham – Aston Cross Council Surveyor1903B6 5RW
Birmingham – Bartley Green LibraryWilliam Frederick Edwards1905B32 3QG
Birmingham – Erdington LibraryJohn P. Osborne1907B24 9HP
Birmingham – Kings Norton LibraryBenjamin Bower1906B30 3EU
Birmingham – Rednal and Rubery Reading Room Benjamin Bower1909B45 8EN
Birmingham – Selly Oak LibraryJohn P. Osborne1906B29 6AE
Birmingham – Toll End Branch Library (with Tipton)George H. Wenyon1907DY4 0lW
Blackpool Central LibraryAlex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown1911FY1 1PX
Boldon Colliery Library 1905NE35 9HZ
Bolton – Astley Bridge Branch Library Arthur John Hope (Bradshaw, Gass and Hope)1910BL1 8NP
Bolton – Farnworth LibraryW.J. Lomax1911BL4 7PG
Bolton – Great Lever Arthur John Hope (Bradshaw, Gass and Hope)1910BL3 2HE
Bournemouth – Boscombe Library Charles Thomas Miles1910BH1 4AS
Bournemouth – Springbourne Public LibraryHarry E. Hawker & Victor Mitchell1909BH8 8BX
Bournemouth – Westbourne LibraryCharles Thomas Miles1916BH4 8DX
Bournemouth – Winton LibraryHarry E. Hawker & Victor Mitchell1907BH9 2EN
Brentford LibraryThomas Henry Nowell Parr (Council Surveyor and Architect)1904TW8 8DW
Bridgend LibraryP.J. Thomas1907CF31 1EF
Buckley Library (Town Council) R. Cecil Davies (District Surveyor) 1904CH7 2JB
Calne LibrarySmith & Mashall1905SN11 0SQ
Cardiff – Whitchurch Library R & S Williams1904CF14 7XA
Castleford Forum Library & MuseumG.H. Vernon Cale1905WF10 1BB
Castleton Carnegie LibraryJesse Horsfall1905OL112ST
Caversham Free Public Library (one of 2 branches for Reading)W.G. Lewton1907RG4 8AU
Chadderton Library Arthur Reginald Groome & James Lindsay Grant1905OL9 6JN
Chatham LibraryGeorge Edward Bond1904ME4 4NP
Chelmsford Public LibraryFrederic Chancellor & Son1906CM1 1NG
Clapton Public LibrarySir Thomas Edwin Cooper1913E5 8RA
Coedfranc Carnegie Hall (ex) Skewen Libray (Carnegie Hall) J. Cook Rees1905SA10 6LH
Colne 1907BB8 0RY 
Colwyn Bay Library JM Porter and Mr Hunter1905LL29 7DH
Coseley Library 1905WV14 9DW
Costessey Library Postle and Webster1907NR8 5AA
Coventry – Earlsdon LibraryJ.E. Swindlehurst (City Engineer and Surveyor) 1913CV5 6FZ
Coventry – Foleshill LibraryJ.E. Swindlehurst (City Engineer and Surveyor) 1913CV6 5BG
Coventry – Stoke LibraryJ.E. Swindlehurst (City Engineer and Surveyor) 1913CV2 4EA
Criccieth LibraryRowland Lloyd-Jones (County Architect)1905LL52 0RN
Crompton Library Jesse Horsfall1907OL2 8PB
Custom House LibraryJohn G. Morley (Borough Engineer)1905E16 3JJ
Dalton in Furness LibraryW. Richardson (District Surveyor) 1905LA15 8AF
Deptford Library Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas1914SE14 6PD
Derby – Normanton Branch (Pear Tree) LibraryCharles Bakewell Sherwin1916DE23 8NQ
Doncaster – Balby with Hexthorpe1903DN4 0PL
Dover Library 1903ct16 1bb
Dudley – Brierley Hill Free Library and Technical Institute L.J. Harper (Town Surveyor)1903DY5 3SU
Dundee – Coldside Library James  Thomson & Frank Drummon Thomson1908DD3 7SE
East Greenwich Library Sidney Richard J. Smith1905SE10 0RL
East Ham Carnegie LibraryAdam Horsburgh Campbell1908E6 2RT
Edinburgh – Balerno1907EH14 7EQ
Eltham Central Library (Woolwich)Maurice Bingham Adams1906SE9 1HA
Enfield (central) Town LibraryRichard Collins (Borough Architect)1912EN2 6AX
Enfield Highway LibraryRichard Collins (Borough Architect)1910EN3 5BN
Erith Carnegie Library William Egerton1906DA8 1TL
Exeter City LibrarySidney K. Greenslade1930EX4 3EG
Fenton LibraryF.R. Lawson1906ST4 3AF
Folkestone LibraryBrightwen Binyon 1910CT20 1HD
Fratton Carnegie Library (Portsmouth)George Rake & Arthur Edward Cogswell1906PO1 5EZ
Fulham Central LibraryHenry Thomas Hare1909SW6 5NX
Gainsborough LibraryH.G. Gamble1905DN21 2NG
Gateshead Central LibraryDavid William Ditchburn1926NE8 4LN
Grantham MuseumGilbert A. Ballard (Borough Surveyor)1926NG31 6PY
Gravesend LibraryEdmund John  Bennett1905DA12 1AQ
Hackney LibraryHenry Arthur Crouch1908E8 1HE
Hammersmith LibraryHenry Thomas Hare1905W6 7AT
Hanwell LibraryT. Gibbs Thomas1905W7 3HL
Harlesden LibraryJohn Cash Originally in 18941910NW10 8SE
Hartlepool Headland  Library H.C. Crummack (Borough Engineer)1904TS24 0LT
Hendon LibraryT.M. Wilson1929NW4 4BQ
Huthwaite Library Ernest W. Bostock1913NG17 2NE
Ilkeston LibraryHunter and Woodhouse  1904DE7 5RN
Ipswich County LibraryHenry Munro Cautley1924IP1 3DE
Irchester LibraryEdward Sharman & Archer1909NN29 7AA
Islington North LibraryHenry Thomas Hare1906N7 6JX
Islington South LibrarySir Mervyn Edwin Macartney1921N1 2SL
Islington West LibraryArthur Beresford Pite1907N1 1BD
Johnstone LibraryThomas Graham Abercrombie and James Steel Maitland1935PA5 8AR
Keighley LibraryArthur Ernest McKewan & James Arthur Swan 1904BD21 3SH
Kensal Rise Library Donne, Hunter & Co. (Orig 1900)1904NW10 5JA
Kettering LibraryJ. Goddard, A.H. Paget & W.A. Catlow1904NN16 0AY
Kilburn Library Mr G.A. Sexton (Original building by Edmeston & Gabriel in 1894)1907NW6 6NN
Kingston-upon-Thames Public Library (Museum and Art Gallery)Alfred Cox1903KT1 2PS
Knutsford LibraryAlfred Darbyshire1904WA16 8BN
Lambeth Herne Hill  Carnegie LibraryH. Wakeford & Sons1906SE24 0AG
Larne Carnegie Library Nicholas Fitzsimons1906BT40 1RN
Lea Bridge LibraryWilliam Jacques1906E10 7HU
Leeds – Bramley LibraryGeorge Herbert Foggitt & J. Addison1927LS13 3ND
Leeds – Burley Library Gilbert Burdett Howcroft   1926LS6 1QL
Leeds – Compton Road Library (Harehills)Arthur William Kenyon1927LS9 7BG
Leicester Central  LibraryEdward Burgess1905LE1 6AA
Littleborough Library S. Butterworth & W.H. Duncan1903OL15 9HE
Littlehampton LibraryHarry Howard1906BN17 5NA
Liverpool – Crosby LibraryC.J. Anderson1905L23 3DP
Liverpool – Old Swan LibraryThomas  Shelmerdine (Corporation Architect and Surveyor)1913L13 5XG
Liverpool – Sefton Park LibraryThomas  Shelmerdine (Corporation Architect and Surveyor)1911L17 4JS
Liverpool – Toxteth Library (South-end)Thomas  Shelmerdine (Corporation Architect and Surveyor)1902L8 1XF
Liverpool – Walton and Fazakerley LibraryArnold Thornely1911L9 2AF
Liverpool – Waterloo LibraryBlack & Milligan1908L21 6NH
Liverpool – West Derby (Tue Brook)Thomas  Shelmerdine (Corporation Architect and Surveyor)1905L13 7GD
Long Eaton Library Child, Gorman and Ross1906NG10 1JG
Loughborough LibraryBarrowcliff & Allcock1905LE11 3DZ
Lurgan LibraryHenry William Edward Hobart1906BT66 6AS
Maidenhead Library Arthur Ernest McKewan & G.H.V. Cole1904SL6 1RF
Malvern LibraryHenry Arthur Crouch1906WR14 2HU
Manchester – Didsbury Library Henry Price (City Architect)1915M20 2DN
Manchester – Failsworth Library Ernest Ogden & Percy Cartwright Hoy1909M35 0AE
Manchester – Levenshulme Library James Jepson1904M19 3QE
Manchester – Norden Old Library1903OL12 7RB
Manchester – Radcliffe library Henry Lord1907M26 1WR
Manor Park LibraryAdam Horsburgh Campbell (Borough Surveyor)1905E12 5JY
Melton Mowbray LibraryEdmund Jeeves1905LE13 1RB
Merthyr Tydfil – Treharris LibraryWilliam Dowdeswell1909CF46 5ET
Neston Library Green Knowles & Russell1907CH64 6QE
New Cross Library Castle & Warren1911SE14 5BA
Newbury LibraryS. James Lee Vincent (Borough Surveyor)1906RG14 5DH
Newport Carnegie Library C.T. Ward (Borough Architect)1907NP19 0GP
Normanton LibraryArthur Hartley1907WF6 2EE
Northfleet Library 1903DA11 9JS
Nottingham – Carlton LibraryJ.C. Haller (County Surveyor)1906NG4 3AY
Nottingham – Meadows  Southern Branch LibraryArthur Dale City Engineer’s Office)1925NG2 2DR
Nottingham – Radford Lenton LibraryT.Wallis Gordon (City Engineer)1926NG7 2BY
Oswaldtwistle Carnegie LibraryFrank Quentery Farmer1915BB5 3HS
Pemberton LibraryJ. B. & W. Thornely1907WN5 9DQ
Peterborough LibraryAlfred George Hall & John Henry Arthur Phillips1905PE1 1RS
Plumstead Public LibraryFrank Sumner (Borough Surveyor)1904SE18 1JL
Plymouth  Library, Museum and Art GalleryThornley & Rooke1910PL4 8AJ
Pontefract LibraryGarside & Pennington1905WF8 1BA
Pontypool LibrarySpeir & Bevan1908NP4 6JL
Portadown LibraryJames William Walby1905BT62 3NE
Rawmarsh Carnegie LibraryJoseph Platts1905S62 6DS
Runcorn LibraryJames Wilding1906WA7 1JL
Rushden LibraryWilliam Beresford Madin (Town Surveyor)1905NN10 0PT
Salisbury Library Alfred Champney Bothams1905SP1 1BG
Sandown LibraryJames Newman1905PO36 8AF
Sandwell – Blackheath Library (Rowley Regis)Herbert Winkler Wills and John Anderson1909B65 8BY
Sandwell – Cradley Heath Library (Rowley Regis)Herbert Winkler Wills and John Anderson1909B64 5JU
Sandwell – Dudley LibraryGeorge H. Wenyon1909DY1 1HR
Sandwell – Langley Green Library (Oldbury & Langley)Abel Round1909B68 8QT
Sandwell – Wednesbury LibraryCrouch Butler and Savage1908WS10 9EH
Sandwell – West Bromwich Central LibraryStephen James Holliday1907B70 8DZ
Seven Kings Library (Ilford)H. Shaw (District Surveyor)1909IG3 8RW
Sevenoaks Library Edwin Evans Cronk1905TN13 3AB
Skipton LibraryJ. W. Broughton & J. Hartley1910BD23 1JX
Southall Library R. Brown (Council Surveyor) 1905UB2 4BL
Southend Library Henry Thomas Hare1906SS2 6EW
St Albans Carnegie Library Francis Guilford Waddell-Dudley1911AL1 3JJ
Stanley Road Reading Room (Kirkdale Library)1911L5 7QQ
Stapleford LibraryR. Smith1906NG9 8EY
Stisted Montefiore Institute 1909CM7 8AW
Stoke Newington LibraryH.H. Bridgman & Goss (originally 1892)1904N16 0JS
Stourbridge Library Frederick Woodward (Council surveyor)1906DY8 1QH
Sunderland – Hendon Carnegie LibraryEdward Cratney1908SR2 8JG
Sunderland – Kayll Road West Branch Library Hugh Taylor Decimus Hedley1909SR4 7TW
Sunderland – Monkwearmouth Branch LibraryEdward Cratney1909SR6 0DR
Sutton Library Briggs & Wolstenholme1905WA9 3PZ
Sydenham  Library Albert L. Guy1904SE26 5SE
Tamworth Central LibraryErnest Robert Danford1905B79 7DN
Teddington LibraryHenry Arthur Cheers1906TW11 8NY
Thatto Heath LibraryArthur W. Bradley (Borough Engineer)1915WA10 3QX
Thornaby-on-Tees  library1904TS17 6DE
Thorne Library E.H. Ballan1906DN8 4BQ
Thornton Heath Library (Croydon)Eric Edwin Hodder & G.F. Carter 1914CR7 7JB
Tipton library (with Toll End)George H. Wenyon1906DY4 8SW
Tiverton Library1902EX16 6SA
Tonbridge LibraryJohn Henry Arthur Phillips1905TN9 1TG
Torquay Library Thomas Davison1907TQ2 5RA
Torridon Library (Hither Green – Corbett Community Library)Henry Hopton1907SE6 1RQ
Torryburn Library William Ramage1911KY12 8SR
Tottenham Central LibraryExtension by Borough Engineer, W.H. Prescott. Originally Edmeston & Gabriel 18961907N17 6QN
Townhill Branch Library Peter Lyle Barclay Henderson With Mr Brown Inspector of Works1906KY12 0EN
Twickenham LibraryHoward Goadby1907TW1 3JT
Tyldesley LibraryCol. Arthur John Hope (Bradshaw, Gass and Hope)1909M29 8AH
Uxbridge Library 1904UB8 1HD
Walkley LibraryWilliam Frederick Hemsoll & Henry Leslie Paterson1905S6 3TD 
Wallasey (Liscard) Central LibraryR.B. MacColl & George Edward Tonge1911CH45 5DX
Walsall Central LibraryJames Glen Sivewright Gibson 1906WS1 1TR
Walthamstow Central LibraryJ.Williams Dunford1909E17 7JN
Watford Central LibraryHugh Andrew Gold & W.W. Newman1928WD17 3EU
West Greenwich LibraryHerbert Winkler Wills and John Anderson1907SE10 8NN
Westhoughton LibraryHalsall, Tonge & Campbell1906BL5 3AT
Willesden Green LibraryA.H. Murray Rust1907NW10 2SF
Wolverhampton LibraryHenry Thomas Hare1902WV1 3AX
Wrexham Carnegie Library Vernon Hodge1907LL11 1AT
Yarlington1919BA9 8DY
York Central Library Brierley and Rutherford1927YO1 7DS

[i] accessed 15.5.20