Take a walk through Northwich town centre and you will soon come across the charming Brunner public library on Witton Street. The library is enjoyed by both children and adults and is used for a huge range of events. The building itself oozes character and comes with its own history. Let us take you back in time to the very beginning of Northwich Library.
History of Northwich Library
Talk of building a library in Northwich was first discussed at a public meeting in 1880. However, the idea was rejected as taxpayers’ money would be used to build and maintain the structure.
Three years later however, there was more positivity surrounding the idea, particularly from John Brunner of Brunner Mond & Company. He’s the same man that the library was consequently named after.
The public welcomed John Brunner’s plan to use the buildings he already owned on Witton Street to hold the library.
The base of the library was located in the old Northwich Workingmen’s Club, which John Brunner had recently bought. The three shops he owned in front of the club were also modified to hold the entrance to the library.
A magnificent wooden and glass dome was constructed above the central shop. The dome perfectly complimented the impressive entrance hall of the building created by Jabez Thompson’s terracotta works. The picture below shows just how impressive it was.
The library came to life on July 21, 1885 after it was opened by The Duke of Westminster. The town celebrated with bunting, flags, and a mile long procession to welcome the Duke and Duchess at Greenbank Station. It must have been a spectacular site!
Celebrating the bulding we have today
After subsidence began to damage the building in the 1890’s, Sir John Brunner M.P paid to have the building renovated and redecorated.
However, by1907 they had to make the devastating decision to demolish the building due to the subsidence. A replacement building was financed once again by the kind actions of Sir John Brunner.
The second library was opened on September 23, 1909 and is the building we see today on Witton Street. Designed by A.E. Powles, it was built to be bigger and made use of the composite timber frame method. This ensured the ability to lift and move the building if subsidence was to occur again.
Northwich Library Today
This beautiful, Tudor style building gives Northwich its sense of character and history. We are lucky to possess a building that provides so much entertainment and learning.
It offers a huge array of books, free computer use, a space for reading and studying, and runs regular events. There are events for babies, toddlers, and children such as rhyme-time, story-time, Lego-club and reading club.
As well as this, there are frequent activities for adults to enjoy. These include author and literary events, crafts, local ranger walks and much more.
The library is free to join and the staff are lovely and welcoming. Pop in to learn more about their events. Alternatively, simply take some time out of your day to relax with a great book.