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© Mrs Sheila Adams

IoE Number: 379869
Photographer: Mrs Sheila Adams
Date Photographed: 22 August 1999
Date listed: 08 January 1959
Date of last amendment: 30 December 1994
Grade II*

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BRISTOL ST5872NE KING STREET, Centre 901-1/16/604 (North side) 08/01/59 No.30 The Old Library and attached front area wall, pier and railings (Formerly Listed as: KING STREET (North side) The Old Library) (Formerly Listed as: KING STREET (North side) Walls, railings and gates of The Old Library) GV II* Library, offices, now restaurant. 1738-40. Carving and possibly design by James Paty. Extended late C18. Limestone ashlar, Pennant rubble basement, hipped roof not visible. Double-depth plan with central stair-hall, and a left-hand projecting extension. Early Georgian Palladian style. 2 storeys and basement; 5-window range with 2-window wing. A symmetrical front with a left-hand wing, moulded plinth, banded ground floor to a plat band, banded pilaster strips to a modillion cornice and parapet with moulded coping, the pedimented 3-window centre is set forward. A shallow porch with fluted Composite columns and responds and modillion pediment, to a door with 8 raised panels. The wing has a right-hand door with blocked jambs, and a short wall to the left of the end elevation with a panel inscribed THE OLD LIBRARY above a plate-glass overlight and 6-panel door. Ground-floor windows have incised voussoirs and 6/6-pane sashes. First-floor windows have shallow aprons, raised cornices, and pediments to the outer windows, the right-hand one of the wing, and segmental to the centre, to 9/9-pane sashes with thick glazing bars. In the right return is a semicircular-arched stair window with an architrave and 6/6-pane sash with Gothick glazing bars. INTERIOR: entrance hall with a good right-hand open-well stair with rocaille carved brackets, 3 column-on-vase balusters per tread, larger matching newel to a wide curtail and moulded rail; panelled shutters, doors and moulded cornices. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: flagged front area has attached right-hand ashlar wall to a capped pier, and bud-headed wrought-iron railings and gate with dog bars across the front. The pediments flanking the centre formerly had putti reading books above, and the main pediment held a good City coat of arms, both lost in neglect and restoration. The very fine panelled reading room on the first floor, with bookcases and magnificent continued chimneypiece by Grinling Gibbons, were removed to the Central Library in 1909. Wall, railings and gate were listed on 04.03.77. (Ison W: The Georgian Buildings of Bristol: Bath: 1952-: 63, PL 14; Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 141; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 433).

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