Notts' Hidden Library Could Be Expanding

Words: Andrew Tucker
Tuesday 23 January 2024
reading time: min, words

Bromley House library, a subscription library founded over two hundred years ago, has just secured £70,000 to explore expanding its premises...

Screenshot 2024 01 23 At 13.59.16

Bromley House Library is undoubtedly one of Notts’ most literary locations - not just by merit of housing 50,000 books for its members, but because in its quiet character it feels like a setting torn from a novel itself. Through a secret door set back from the bustle of the Market Square, visitors and library members soon find themselves transported to a grade II* listed Georgian townhouse, complete with a walled garden, ladders that slide across dark mahogany shelves and a spiral staircase that creaks reassuringly.

But, far from being a time capsule, we have it on good authority that Bromley House is marching into the future - they’ve just secured £70,000 from National Heritage Lottery Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund to explore the possibility of an expansion project. In potentially adding new space to this three-hundred-year-old building, which is now one of the last subscription libraries in the country, they hope to be able to make their rich resources as accessible as possible.

Plans for this transformation include adding a lift to all floors, new rooms suitable for their programme of live events, and office space that other cultural organisations will be able to rent, perhaps bringing other Nottingham literary bodies under one roof. In a time where cultural institutions are having to batten down the hatches, this could be a major coup.

‘We couldn’t have wished for a better start to the year,’ director Clare Brown told us, ‘Bromley House Library already serves many of Nottingham’s readers and writers…but we have more to offer. The opportunity to share our books and our heritage with a wider range of people is hugely exciting.’

With the new wide and gleaming Central Library having just opened too, Bromley House’s funding success adds to the mounting evidence that we’re moving towards a city that's custom-built for booklovers.

More details about the library, including tours and membership options, can be found here

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