William Ewart Gladstone (1809 - 1898) was arguably Britain's greatest statesman and the most significant Anglican layman of the last two centuries.
Four times Prime Minister, four times Chancellor of the Exchequer and a Parliamentarian for 63 years, few politicians have achieved as many lasting reforms as Gladstone. He was a pragmatic political leader with an incessant concern with history, literature, the classical world and theological dispute and was a voracious reader.
Gladstone lived in the village of Hawarden in North Wales, a few miles from Chester. He was eager to make his personal library accessible to others and with this in mind founded Gladstone’s Library in 1889, donating 32,000 of his own collection. After his death the library became the national memorial to ‘the grand old man’.
Today it serves as residential library and meeting place dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning. A hub of social interaction with 26 bedrooms, a varied programme of courses and events, conference rooms and free daily tours.
Gladstone’s annotated books are freely available on the library shelves, along with 200,000 books, journals and periodicals on a wide range of topics including Theology and Victorian Studies. Some of the books here are 400 years old; some are original first editions; some are as recent as this month; all are here to be used.
Anyone can join the library (free of charge) as a Reader and can use the Library from 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday. Tours of the Library are held at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm Monday to Friday and at 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sleep with books
Our peaceful setting and relaxed atmosphere provide the ideal getaway. Get away from the daily routine and put aside time to read, reflect or write. Gladstone’s Library has 26 comfortable rooms, most en-suite and all are equipped with a work station and Roberts radio. Special rates are available for groups, students and clergy.
Food for Thought
Our coffee shop/restaurant, Food for Thought seats up to 60 people in a relaxing setting, overlooking the Library’s spacious grounds.
Serving morning coffee, lunches and afternoon tea, the coffee shop is open from 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 2pm at the weekend (booking advised for afternoon teas and Sunday lunch).
Courses and events
We run lectures and day courses throughout the year. There are weekend or mid-week courses and even the opportunity to learn a language in a week. Come and experience our literary festival Gladfest or our two smaller winter festivals called Hearth.
Conference and meeting rooms
Gladstone’s Library has an excellent range of conference rooms for business meetings, training courses, corporate presentations and more. Seating from 2 - 40 people, our facilities include AV equipment, widescreen TVs, catering, free WiFi and parking.
Scholarships and Bursaries
When William Gladstone established his Library, he wanted to ensure that anyone who would benefit from a period of study here should not be prevented from doing so by financial constraint.
Our scholarship programme goes some way to answering this need but we also offer bursaries which allow people to stay at the Library at a highly subsidised rate.
Friends of Gladstone’s Library
We receive donations through our Friends of Gladstone’s Library scheme. The donations we receive from Friends are a vital source of regular income for the Library and really do make a huge difference to our work.
Gladstone's Library, Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3DF, UK
Telephone (International):- +44 1244 532350 - Fax:- +44 1244 520643
Telephone (UK):- 01244 532350 - Fax:- 01244 520643
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