Gladstone's Library

Gladstone's Library
Gladstone’s Library
Church Lane
Hawarden
Flintshire
CH5 3DF
Wales

Website

www.gladstoneslibrary.org

E-mail

Enquiries

enquiries@gladlib.org

Director of Collections and Research: Laura Yates

louisa.yates@gladlib.org

Warden: Peter Francis

peter.francis@gladlib.org

Business Development Manager: Jane Dawson

jane.dawson@gladlib.org

Development Officer

annette.lewis@gladlib.org

Telephone

01244 532350

Fax

01244 520643

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Main Reading Room, Gladstone's Library
Food icon Parking icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Gladstone's Library is a unique institution. Founded by the great Victorian statesman, William Gladstone, following his death in 1898, it became the nation's tribute to his life and work and is today Britain's finest residential library and its only Prime Ministerial library.

As well as a unique collection of more than 250,000 printed items, Gladstone's Library also offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, conference rooms and a Coffee Shop, Food for Thought. Whether you stay for a month or just pop in for a cup of coffee, we hope that you will enjoy your visit.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library, Historic house or home, Heritage site, Festivals

Opening hours

Reading Rooms 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday - Saturday. Coffee Shop 10.00am - 4.00pm Monday - Friday and 10.00am - 2.00pm Saturday and Sunday.

Admission charges

No charge to use the Reading Rooms but please complete an application form to become a Day Reader (available from Reception or our website).

Getting there

The nearest railway stations are Hawarden (0.5 miles) and Chester (6 miles).

Gladstone's Library is in the centre of the village, approximately 3 miles from the A55 Broughton turnoff.

The collection is our greatest asset. The Library has been recognised as the most important research library and collection in Wales after the National Library of Wales.

The heart of the Library is Gladstone’s own collection of over 32,000 items, majoring in the subjects of the Arts and Humanities. Many of his books contain his annotations, some of which are extremely detailed. We even have some of Gladstone’s Eton school books, containing caricatures of the masters. In addition to his books, the Library houses most of Gladstone’s non-political correspondence, speeches and papers.

Among the manuscripts located at Gladstone’s Library are Sir Stephen Glynne’s Church Notes and the Glynne-Gladstone Manuscripts. The latter collection consists of over 250,000 items of family letters and estate, household and business papers relating to the Gladstone and Glynne families.

Gladstone’s Library also houses an interesting pre-1800 collection which is particularly strong in theology and church history, and several special collections, such as the Bishop Moorman Franciscan Library. There are many individual items of interest, including a rare copy of Erasmus’ Paraphrase of St John’s Gospel, translated by the Tudor Princess Mary.

Most of our books are available to our readers on open access and are housed in oak bookshelves, based on a design by Gladstone. We also have books housed in our modern annexe within sliding presses. Such an impressive collection attracts many visitors of different academic disciplines and cultures from all over the world.

Collection details

Literature, Personalities, Religion

Key artists and exhibits

  • Library and collections of William Ewart Gladstone
  • Sir Stephen Glynne’s Church Notes
  • Glynne-Gladstone Manuscripts
  • Moorman Franciscan Library
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Gladstone's Library

Film and Theology

  • 25 — 27 April 2014

The seventeenth annual film and theology weekend. Over the course of three days, films will be viewed, discussed and reflected upon. To include: Banard's The Selfish Giant (2013), Trapero's White Elephant (2013) and Hardy's The Wicker Man (1973).

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Inclusive fee for full programme: from £168 – £188, including refreshments, lunch, dinner, bed & breakfast. £98 non-residential. Discounts for clergy and students available on request. Contact enquiries@gladlib.org / 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/courses/

Lesley McDowell

Museums at Night

  • 16 May 2014 8pm-12am

Part of the national Museums at Night programme, two events are presented.

The first is Between the Sheets (8pm): a talk given by writer in residence, Lesley McDowell, based on her book of the same name.
The second event is Love and Other Disasters (10pm – midnight): readings in the Library of favourite romantic (or not!) literary works, chosen and read by members of the audience.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5 to include a glass of something

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/special-events/

RS Thomas

RS Thomas: A Masterwork of Doubting Belief

  • 23 — 25 May 2014

John G McEllhenney, author and a long-time correspondent with Thomas, offers a fresh insight on the poems of RS Thomas in a course which will allude to issues raised in his book, A Masterwork of Doubting Belief: RS Thomas and his poetry

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Inclusive fee for full programme: from £168 – £188, including refreshments, lunch, dinner, bed & breakfast. £98 non-residential. Discounts for clergy and students available on request. Contact enquiries@gladlib.org / 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/rsthomas-masterwork-doubting-belief.html

Lesley McDowell

Creative Writing Workshop with Lesley McDowell

  • 31 May 2014 From 10am

A full day's Creative Writing Workshop with Writer in Residence, Lesley McDowell: How to write historical/biographical fiction.

Lesley McDowell is an author and critic living in Scotland. She earned a PhD for work on James Joyce and feminist theory before turning to literary journalism. She has written fiction, The Picnic (Black and White, 2007) and her second book, Between the Sheets (Overlook Press, 2010) was shortlisted for the Scottish Book Awards 2011 (non-fiction). Her third book and second novel, Unfashioned Creatures, will be published in November 2013 by Saraband

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£29 for the full day to include coffee, tea and lunch. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/writers/

Judy Brown

An Evening with Judy Brown

  • 10 June 2014 8-9pm

An Evening with Writer in Residence Judy Brown in which she will explore and identify the link between poetry and law in her talk, Changing Direction.

Judy Brown is the winner of the Manchester Poetry Prize (2010), the Poetry London Competition (2009) and the Hamish Canham Poetry Prize (2005) and current Poet-in-Residence at the Wordsworth Trust. Her first collection of poetry, Loudness (Seren, 2011) was shortlisted for the 2011 Forward/Felix Dennis award and the following year for the Fenton Aldeburgh prizes for best first collection. Her pamphlet, Pillars of Salt (Templar, 2006), won Templar Poetry’s pamphlet competition

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Ticket price £10 to include a copy of Judy's book (signed). For information or to boo contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/writers/

Gladstone's Library

History is Bunk!

  • 23 — 27 June 2014

Lyn Bechtel takes a backward look at the Exodus, Joshua, Second Isaiah, and the return to Judah. These stories were formulated hundreds of years later to support the political situation at the time, as well as the assumptions of the then dominant theology.

Professor Lyn Bechtel continues her liberal critique of key passages and themes in the Hebrew Bible

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £336 - £376 and includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential prices, clergy and student discounts are available on request.
For more information or to book call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/history-bunk.html

Gladstone's Library

The Essence of Christian Liberalism

  • 4 — 6 July 2014

Liberal Christianity has an honourable history but does it have a future in an increasingly polarised world. What is the essence of liberal Christianity? Can it be redefined for the twenty-first century?
Join Ian Bradley, Gary Dorrien, Peter Francis, Martyn Percy, Keith Ward, Michael Wheeler and Linda Woodhead in this Gladstone’s Library Colloquium.

Admission

Inclusive fee for full programme: from £200 – £228, including refreshments, lunch, dinner, bed & breakfast. £120 non-residential. Discounts for clergy and students available on request. For more information or to book call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/essence-liberal-theology.html

Peter Tatchell

Founder's Day Lecture by Peter Tatchell

  • 7 July 2014 2:30-3:30pm

An engaging and controversial figure, Peter Tatchell has campaigned for human rights for over forty years. Best known for his LGBTQI rights campaigns, Peter has developed or taken part in anti-imperialist and anti-apartheid activism as well as animal rights and environmental issues. He is also the author of seven books, a contributor to many collections and a journalist and columnist. Peter has most recently been seen contributing to the debates surrounding equal marriage. The Founder's Day Lecture is part of a wider, day long, programme of events culminating in a "Conversation Dinner".

Admission

Tickets for this event will be on sale at the end of February:
£15 afternoon lecture only (includes strawberry tea)
£60 for the full programme (includes lunch and dinner)
For more information and to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/

Gladstone's Umbrella

Gladstone's Umbrella

  • 18 — 20 July 2014

Gladstone’s Library, the National Memorial to the Grand Old Man, provides the perfect setting for the annual colloquium for scholars and Gladstone enthusiasts

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Inclusive fee for full programme: from £168 – £188, including refreshments, lunch, dinner, bed & breakfast. £98 non-residential. Discounts for clergy and students available on request. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/courses/

Welsh text

Welsh in a Week

  • 28 July — 3 August 2014

Come with little or no knowledge of the Welsh language – just a desire to learn and by the end of the week, a basic ability in Welsh will have been achieved. The course tutor is Julie Brake, Senior Lecturer in Welsh at Glyndwr University.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The fee for this week-long course ranges between £504 - £564, includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students.
For information and to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/welsh-week.html

Hebrew text

Hebrew in a Week

  • 4 — 10 August 2014

This course offers an exciting way to enjoy and understand Biblical Hebrew. Lyn Bechtel leads the week for those who wish to begin to read Biblical Hebrew and have no prior knowledge of the language. It can also be enjoyed by those who know a little Hebrew and wish to revise and improve their knowledge.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £504 - £564 includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/hebrew-week.html

Greek-Latin bi-lingual text

Greek in a Week

  • 11 — 17 August 2014

This course is ideal for those wishing to learn New Testament Greek or for those wanting to revise or improve their knowledge of it. No prior knowledge of Greek is assumed – all we ask is that you try to learn the Greek alphabet before you arrive. This tried and tested course is now in its seventeenth year and is led by New Testament scholar Kalyan Dey.

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £504 - £564 includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/greek-week.html

Latin manuscript

Latin in a Week

  • 18 — 24 August 2014

This exciting and successful approach to learning Latin aims to take complete beginners to the point where they can read some short extracts of poetry and prose by Latin authors. Robert Parker returns to lead the week for those who wish to begin to read Latin. It can also be enjoyed by those who know some Latin and wish to revise and improve their knowledge of it, but no prior knowledge is assumed: all that is asked is that you have read the Preface and Introduction to the course textbook before arrival.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £504 - £564 includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 352350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/latin-week.html

Latin text

Latin Second Steps

  • 31 August — 4 September 2014

Robert Parker returns to lead this exciting introductory course in reading Latin Literature, for those who have completed his Latin in a Week course, those who already have knowledge of Latin somewhere near “O” Level or GCSE standard or who have attended in previous years. Take your hard-earned grammatical knowledge of Latin forward constructively into the early stages of reading and understanding short extracts from the poets, comic playwrights and prose writers of Classical Latin Literature.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £336- £376 includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/latin-2nd-steps.html

2013 GladFest banner

GladFest

  • 5 — 7 September 2014

Following on from last year's hugely successful inaugural literary festival, this second Gladfest promises to be bigger, better and even more stimulating. Full schedule available soon (image of 2013 festival banner)

Admission

Tickets for readings, workshops etc start at £5. To join the mailing list to get advance information, contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Gladstone's Library

The Book of Ruth

  • 8 — 11 September 2014

Lyn Bechtel offers an advanced reading of the Book of Ruth looking at the text through the lens of a Hebrew scholar. Intended for those that have at some point attended one of her hugely popular 'Hebrew in a Week' courses (or have a working knowledge of the language from elsewhere), Lyn will build up your knowledge of syntax, translation and grammar around this staple Biblical text.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £252 - £282 includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/book-ruth.html

Gladstone's Library

The Quest for the Original John

  • 15 — 18 September 2014

Kalyan Dey tries to uncover the original writer of the gospel of John and to reveal his message and his purpose in writing. A fascinating and surprising, almost Sufi, approach to John’s gospel that reveals a new understanding.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £336 - £376 includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/quest-original-john.html

Hearth at Gladstone's Library

Hearth

  • 1 — 2 November 2014

With the onset of winter, we will be holding this second micro-literary festival with writers and readers gathered around the fire for discussions, workshops and warmth.

Admission

Programme and ticket pricing to be confirmed. To join the mailing list and be among the first to find out, contact enquiries@gladlib.org or 01244 532350

Gladstone's Library

Films of Faith and Doubt

  • 3 November — 6 December 2014

An opportunity to view and reflect on classic and contemporary films of faith and doubt. To include: To Kill a Mockingbird, Amadeus, Babette's Feast, Into Great Silence, Brokeback Mountain and Twelve Years a Slave

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The inclusive fee for this week-long course ranges between £252 - £282 includes bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner. Non-residential ticket prices are available on request, along with discount rates for clergy and students. For information or to book contact enquiries@gladlib.org or ring 01244 532350

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/films-faith-and-doubt.html

Gladstone's Library

Great British Films

  • 8 — 11 December 2014

A chance to take another look at and reflect on some of the greatest films of all time as chosen by 385 of the world’s top directors in the Sight & Sound/BFI poll. Introduced by Peter Francis, this year’s films will be drawn from the following list (tell us your personal preference/s and influence the final selection): Don’t Look Now; The Third Man; Distant Voices, Still Lives; Kes; The Red Shoes; A Matter of Life and Death; Performance; Kind Hearts and Coronets; If…; Trainspotting.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Book for dinner or stay overnight, see a film every evening free of charge and attend an optional discussion at 10am the next morning. Dinner (two courses plus coffee) is £14 per person.
For accommodation rates and availability (on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis), please contact us direct (enquiries@gladlib.org / 01244 532350) or see information on the website (www.gladstoneslibrary.org).

Website

http://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/great-british-films.html

Getting there

The nearest railway stations are Hawarden (0.5 miles) and Chester (6 miles).

Gladstone's Library is in the centre of the village, approximately 3 miles from the A55 Broughton turnoff.

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