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© Mr John H. Sparkes

IoE Number: 373824
Photographer: Mr John H. Sparkes
Date Photographed: 23 May 2007
Date listed: 16 December 1974
Date of last amendment: 16 December 1974
Grade II

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BRIDGWATERST3036BINFORD PLACE736-1/9/8(South side)

BRIDGWATER ST3036 BINFORD PLACE 736-1/9/8 (South side) 16/12/74 Public library and attached wall, railings, gate piers and gates GV II Public Library. Dated 1905. By E Godfrey Page. Extended late C20. English bond brick and ashlar, pantile roof with copper dome. L-plan, the axis being a high domed entrance hall. Edwardian Baroque style. Single storey to the original building. Windows have wooden glazing bars and small panes. An octangular parapet and dome supports a square cupola; semicircular lunettes to the north-west and north-east sides flank an open pediment over a large semicircular window to the north entrance corner. This corner is canted inwards and contains a circular porch with a cornice and blocking course over 4 Ionic columns and 2 antae on a stepped platform. The right-hand bay of the north-east facade, facing the river, has a balustrade which fronts a semicircular window to the drum of the dome above a leaded 3-light stone-mullioned window; to the left of it is a gauged flat arch with a tall stepped keystone which dies into the eaves cornice, over a horned 6/6-pane sash in a forward frame; the roof is hipped to the left. The lower rear range is stepped back and has 2 windows in segmental arches with similar keystones and the roof is hipped to the left. The rear of this wing has pebble-dashed parapets to 2 canted bays which rise through the eaves over hollow-moulded segmental arches to 2-light casements. The left range of the wing to the north-west has a similar balustrade to that on the north-east, above 2 narrow leaded lights to the left of a door with a square overlight and a similar 6/6-pane sash window, though this has a moulded cill and projecting stone apron which rises from a moulded stone plinth with keystone shape from plinth to cill. The roof is hipped to the right and is stepped forward from the roof of the main right wing; this has a brick ridge stack to the left and a similar though smaller cupola to that on the dome, to right of centre. Semicircular arches with tall keystones, to the sides; that to the left is glazed, with a door; that to the right is a semicircular window above the flush cill band. A large window breaking through the eaves, has a moulded cornice to a shouldered segmental arch over a tripartite window; below the moulded cill a projecting stone apron has the inscription "This Library was erected in 1905 by the liberality of Andrew Carnegie Esq. LLD. This stone was laid by Henry W Pollard Esq. Mayor August 10 1905". The south-west end of the right wing, facing King Street, has a moulded terracotta finial to the half-hipped roof. A large canted bay with a high pebble-dashed parapet has an ornamental segmental arch of red brick, Ham Hill stone and Bath stone with a keystone of the latter below an empty plaque with a moulded semicircular arch to the top; large 2-light casement windows and a segmental-arched overlight with glazing bars. INTERIOR: The octagonal domed entrance hall has trapezoidal windows in the dome and 5 semicircular recesses above the moulded cornice, the 3 around the entrance are glazed. The 8 walls have recesses with moulded archivolts on pilasters with moulded cornices over various doors and notice-boards; that opposite the entrance door is glazed to the top, the opening below leads to the main hall which is simple, ceilinged under the hipped roof with exposed metal struts. The wing to the left has 2 rooms with high unpainted architraves to 2 openings; both rooms have straight chamfered coved ceilings with moulding above and below the chamfer. To the left of the left-hand room, overlooking the river, is a large segmental-arched window; both rooms have a wide segmental arch to the rear, in front of a canted bay with a 2-light casement window and a segmental-arched overlight. The wing to the right is a long hall with moulded bands dividing the segmental-vaulted ceiling into 3 bays; 2 large semicircular openings with moulded archivolts to the left and one to the right, in the rear wall, lead to the main hall and a service room; a wide segmental-arched opening to the right (south-west) end fronts a large canted bay with 2-light casements and a segmental-arched overlight. The right-hand wall, backing onto Chapel Street, has a large shouldered segmental-arched window to the centre and a semicircular window to the right, another entrance door is to the left. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: low Flemish-bond brick walls with Ham Hill stone capping and pointed railings, attached to the north-west and north-east corners of the library, enclose the north side of Blake Gardens (acquired by the Corporation in 1898). The railings have 2 horizontal rails to the base and top; in the square spaces to the top are scroll motifs. To the rear and left of the building are substantial gate piers and gates. The piers are of alternate Ham Hill stone blocks and 4 courses of red brick with egg-and-dart moulding to the cornices and pyramidal tops; 4 to the rear, the outer ones supporting single gates, have BLAKE GARDENS in Art Nouveau style lettering; the inner piers, with worn crests, support double gates. 2 sets of piers to the left of the entrance support single gates. Gates are similar to the railings with added short railings to the base. (Buildings of England: Pevsner N: South and West Somerset: London: 1958-: 99).

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