Croeso Network

St Deiniol's Library

  St Deiniol's Library  

Gladstone's Library St Deiniol's - Britain's Finest Residential Library

'. . . . to stand amidst the books in St Deiniol's Library is an intimidating experience for it is an encounter with the restless, brooding intelligence that was William Ewart Gladstone'. - Lord Runcie of Cuddesdon.

Gladstone's Library

William Ewart Gladstone (1809 - 98) 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; a voracious reader, who read 20,000 books.

Gladstone lived in the village of Hawarden in North Wales, a few miles from Chester. This is also the site of St Deiniol's Library which Gladstone founded in 1889 for the pursuit of divine learning. The present Library building was erected as the national memorial to Gladstone.

Gladstone's Library - St Deiniols in Hawarden North WalesSt Deiniol's Library is unique in being a residential library - bed, board and books. Gladstone wanted to gather together a fellowship of scholars from all disciplines for solid and serious work for the benefit of mankind in inexpensive lodgings together with congeniol society.

Gladstone believed that where there is truth, there is God. He believed that God's revelation could be found not only in scripture but in the writings of the classical world, in the movements of history, in the insights of poets and novelists. This search for truth is what Gladstone meant by divine learning.

Today, St Deiniol's continues to attract scholars, clergy and educators from all over the world. Some stay for only a day or two, others for several months but all leave refreshed in body, mind and spirit, having enjoyed the convivial atmosphere at a modest price just as Mr Gladstone envisaged.


The Library is open from 9.00 am to 10.00 pm. There are 250,000 books, periodicals and pamphlets in Arts and Humanities. We specialise in Theology and History, but there are also good collections of Literature, Philosophy and Classics.

The collection contains most of Gladstone's correspondence and speeches, making it of central interest to anyone working on the nineteenth century.

The Bishop Moorman Franciscan Collection is Britain's largest private collection of material on St Francis and the early Franciscans.

If you live nearby you can use the Library from:- 9.00am to 6.30pm (Monday - Saturday) by becoming an external Reader.

  • Accommodation:- Comfortable bedrooms and excellent food in delightful surroundings.
  • Scholarships and Bursaries:- We award Scholarships and Bursaries to those wishing to use the Library to write, study or research.
  • Sabbaticals:- An ideal environment for a sabbatical. Visiting scholars are welcome to use the facilities of University College Chester.
  • Programme:- A programme of courses, seminars and day-conferences is arranged each year on a variety of Theological and Victorian Studies themes with leading scholars.
  • Chapel:- Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Eucharist are held in the Chapel.
  • Clergy and Student Discount:- Special rates are offered to clergy and students wanting to make use of the Library. It was Gladstone's wish that no one be excluded from the Library for financial reasons. The Trustees therefore offer generous subsidies to scholars.
  • Conference / Group Bookings:- Conference facilities are available for residential or day groups.
  • Holiday:- A relaxed place to study but also near to some of Britain's most breathtaking countryside and ancient monuments - Snowdonia, the Roman City of Chester and the castles and beautiful gardens of Wales.

St Deiniol's Library, Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3DF, UK

Telephone (International):- +44 1244 532350 - Fax:- +44 1244 520643

Telephone (UK):- 01244 532350 - Fax:- 01244 520643


© St Deiniol's Library, Hawarden, Flintshire

Click on the town name below to visit other areas of Wales or Here for Map
Aberaeron Aberdovey Abergavenny Aberystwyth Amlwch Bala Barmouth
Beaumaris Beddgelert Betws-y-Coed Brecon Builth Wells Caernarfon Caldey Island
Cardiff Cardigan Carmarthen Welcome to Wales - Croeso i Gymru Chepstow Chirk Colwyn Bay
Conwy Crickhowell Denbigh Fishguard Flintshire Harlech
Haverfordwest Holyhead Llanberis Llandrindod Llandudno Llangollen
Machynlleth Newport Newtown Porthcawl Porthmadog Pwllheli Rhayader
Rhyl Ruabon Ruthin Saundersfoot St Asaph St Davids Swansea
Tenby Welshpool Wrexham Photos Old Photos Chester Oswestry