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St Deiniol's Library, Hawarden; Gladstone Library

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Map ReferenceSJ36NW
Grid ReferenceSJ3146065920
Unitary (Local) AuthorityFlintshire
Old CountyFlintshire
PeriodPost Medieval
The library was founded by W.E. Gladstone in 1890 as a centre for Christian learning and as a place for study. A trust was established and 25,000 of his own books were donated and lodged initially in a temporary building on the present site. Following his death in 1898 the present library wing was built as part of the National Gladstone Memorial, the trust voting £10,000 and Gladstone's estate providing £40,000 towards building costs. It was designed by Douglas and Minshull of Chester and was erected between 1899 and 1902. A further accommodation wing was added 1904-6, also by Douglas and Minshull, and paid for by the Gladstone family.

Roughly H-plan and conceived as Jacobethan in design and as late Perpendicular in detail. Constructed of red sandstone under a medium-pitched slate roof.
Roughly symmetrical 2-storey S (main) front with central storeyed porch, coped and gabled with a ball finial and a canopied niche to the first floor with a sculpted, life sized statue of the Virgin within. It has a continuous moulded entrance arch with double recessed wooden doors with decorative ironwork. Flanking it are 2-light mullioned windows with arched heads, and buttresses with gablets and moulded bases. To the left, with a gabled cross-wing, is the library and to the right with a balancing cross-wing is the residential addition.

The library Range is of 4 bays with dividing ground-floor buttresses, rising as applied shafts to end as crocketted finials above a crennelated parapet. There are 6-light cross windows to the ground floor with leaded cames and paired, 2-light mullioned windows with arched lights above. A cross-wing to the left has large coped and ball-finialled gable and octagonal corner turrets with ogee caps and crocketted finials. At first floor, a central niche with figure as before flanked by tall, 9-light oriel windows resting on plain, flat buttresses and with crenellated parapets. Small slit-window in gable apex with returned label.
The ground floor has a central 3-light mullioned window and then flanking 1 and 2-light windows, mostly with arched heads, and with a continuous label course. There are gabled dormers, coped and finialed, to the east and west faces of range, and a single-storey extruded bay at intersection with main block, with crenellated parapet. A central louvre has an ogee lead cupola and a weathervane. A near symmetrical west facade has gabled and canted bays flanking a storeyed porch with attached octagonal stair-turret to left.

The residential wing to the right of the porch is 4 bays with simplified detailing. A bay is extruded at the angle with the cross-wing, and with an entrance in its west face. There are 3-light mullioned windows, arched-headed, to first floor and 2 and 4-light windows to the extruded bay, with an angle buttress to the south face. The gabled cross-wing has a projecting end chimney and flanking buttresses, and 2, 3 and 6-light mullioned windows as before with a large canted and finialed ground-floor bay to the west face, and similar bay to the rear (N) elevation.

Uneventful brick extension lies to the east with simple mullioned windows and a flat roof. L-shaped single-storey modern extension to the W of the Library range.

The Library is a 5-bay open hall with a complex roof open to the collar and with arcade posts, giving the effect of an aisled hall, though they are actually supporting a gallery which runs along the E and W sides. this comprises of octagonal oak columns with ogee balustrading. The fascia of the gallery is enriched with complex tracery and foliate forms. The adjoining Divinity Library is a smaller and simpler version of this, though it contains simple stalls by H.S. Goodhart-Rendel.
(Source; Cadw listing database) S Fielding RCAHMW 19/10/2005