© Mr John H. Sparkes
PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ATTACHED WALL, RAILINGS, GATE PIERS AND GATES, CHAPEL STREET (south side)
BRIDGWATER, SEDGEMOOR, SOMERSET
Mr John H. Sparkes
23 May 2007
16 December 1974
Date of last amendment:
16 December 1974
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
ST3036 BINFORD PLACE
736-1/9/8 (South side)
16/12/74 Public library and attached wall,
railings, gate piers and gates
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 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
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).