Gladstone's Library

Image of Gladstone's Library in the Autumn.
Food icon Parking icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Gladstone's Library is a beautiful Grade I listed residential library nestled in the hills of North Wales. It comprises a residential library and meeting place which is dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups, who are looking to explore pressing questions and to pursue study and research in an age of distraction and easy solutions.

This institution pays tribute to William Gladstone. It is Britain's finest residential library, and its only Prime Ministerial library. It was founded by the great Victorian statesman himself and, following his death in 1898, became the national memorial to his life and work.

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 bistro, Food for Thought. Whether you stay for a month or just pop in for a cup of tea, we hope that you will enjoy your visit.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library

Opening hours

Our Reading Rooms are open 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday - Saturday.
Food For Thought is open Monday - Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Lunch is served 12 noon - 2.00pm daily.
Afternoon Tea available weekdays 3.00pm - 4.00pm (booking essential).

Admission charges

There is no admittance fee.
It is free to become a Reader, which is required to use the Reading Rooms.
There are free daily Glimpses of the library at 12 noon, 2.00pm & 4.00pm.

Getting there

Hawarden Railway Station is on the Wrexham – Bidston line which has connections to Liverpool. Hawarden Station is on Station Road and is 5 – 7 minutes' walk away from the Library.
If you are travelling a long distance, you may find it easier to travel to Chester and then get a bus (11, X44, or 4) or a taxi (we are approximately 8 miles from the railway station).

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

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

  • 1 — 3 July 2016 *on now

During this weekend we bring you a typical slice of discussion at Gladstone's Library. A wonderful compendium of thoughts starting with acclaimed writer and historian, Peter Moore. Peter's talk Endeavours, Enlightenment, Exploration will chronicle his current research into James Cook's notorious ship, Endeavour, which he commanded from 1769 to 1771 on his first voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand. Peter will also explore the age of enlightenment and its ideals.

Then, John McEllhenney and Susan Fogarty explore the doubting-belief of the great Welsh poet R.S. Thomas, an Anglican vicar who wrestled ceaselessly with problems of faith and doubt in his poetry.

It's not too much of a leap from R.S. Thomas to Peter Francis' talk about Honest Faith - claiming that no supernatural beliefs are true and presenting Christianity as a rational philosophy of life. For him and many others, Christianity is a form of utopian religious humanism.

There is a significant Victorian slant to the weekend as well with Chair of Gladstone's Library Michael Wheeler presenting Florence Nightingale as a great reformer, the founder of modern nursing and a noted liberal Christian.

Louisa Yates talks reading, journeying through Gladstone's Literary Life by imagining his typical week. She addresses how such a busy man could possibly have read the 22,000 books he noted in his diaries.

The weekend concludes with a discussion about 'liberal values' in which Michael Wheeler and Peter Francis ask whether the word 'liberal' still has any meaning in the contemporary world.

A fascinating weekend!

For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices start from £202, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/a-little-bit-of-this-a-little-bit-of-that

Gladstone's Library

Founder’s Day 2016 - Liberal Faith: An Oxymoron?

  • 4 July 2016

Does religion still have a role in promoting liberal values or has the torch passed to those who describe themselves as ‘non-religious’? Are secular rather than religious rites of passage now more appropriate in contemporary Britain? These and other questions will be grappled with by our panel:

Zia Chaudhry

Andrew Copson

Martyn Percy

Linda Woodhead

Zia Chaudhry
Zia Chaudhry is a British-born Muslim. Having grown up in Liverpool, he went on to establish his legal career there as a barrister. Zia has been actively involved in interfaith work for over 15 years, with a particular emphasis on dispelling misunderstanding about Islam. In 2007, he founded the Spirit of Cordoba, a charity seeking to rekindle the spirit of co-operation between the Abrahamic faiths in Muslim Spain. A frequent broadcaster, Zia is the author of Just Your Average Muslim.

Andrew Copson
Andrew is Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. His writing on humanist and secularist issues has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, The Times and New Statesman as well as in various journals and he has represented the BHA and Humanism extensively on television news and radio. He is a former director of the European Humanist Federation and is currently a Vice President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Together with A C Grayling, Andrew edited the Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism.

Martyn Percy
Martyn is Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. Educated at the Universities of Bristol, Durham, London (King’s) and Sheffield, he trained for ordination after a career in publishing. Martyn is a member of the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University, Professor of Theological Education at King’s College London and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London. His recent books include Anglicanism: Confidence, Commitment and Communion and Thirty-Nine New Articles: An Anglican Landscape of Faith.

Linda Woodhead
Linda is co-director of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University, and co-founder of the Westminster Faith Debates. Linda is a specialist on contemporary religion, values and society and she is best known for her work on religions, beliefs and values in the UK, Contemporary Christianity worldwide, the rise of alternative spiritualities and ‘no religion,’ religious extremism and the regulation of religion, religion, gender and power and the future of religion and values. Her recent books include That was the Church, that was: How the Church of England lost the English People, A Sociology of Prayer, Christianity: A Very Short Introduction, and Everyday Lived Islam in Europe.

Tickets for this event are priced at £15 including strawberry tea and are extremely limited.

Priority booking tickets are on sale to Friends from 9am on Wednesday, 30th March until 5pm on Tuesday, 12th April. All remaining tickets will be released thereafter. To book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

If you are not a Friend but would like to attend, you can register your interest by contacting Reception on 01244 532350 or emailing enquiries@gladlib.org. Your name will then be added to the waiting list to be contacted after 12th April.

To become a Friend and receive priority booking for Founder’s Day and other special events including Gladfest, please call Reception on 01244 532350.

Admission

Tickets for this event are priced at £15 including strawberry tea and are extremely limited.

Priority booking tickets are on sale to Friends from 9am on Wednesday, 30th March until 5pm on Tuesday, 12th April. All remaining tickets will be released thereafter. To book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

If you are not a Friend but would like to attend, you can register your interest by contacting Reception on 01244 532350 or emailing enquiries@gladlib.org. Your name will then be added to the waiting list to be contacted after 12th April.

To become a Friend and receive priority booking for Founder’s Day and other special events including Gladfest, please call Reception on 01244 532350.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/founders-day-2016

Gladstone Umbrella

Gladstone Umbrella

  • 15 — 17 July 2016

A favourite of the Gladstone's Library calendar returns for another year!

Offers of papers should be sent to d.r.brooks@qmul.ac.uk.

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £192, non-residential from £150.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

To book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.

Admission

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £192, non-residential from £150.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Gladstone's Library

Laudato Si - On Care for Our Common Home

  • 18 — 19 July 2016

Pope Francis’s second encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ was typically forthright and challenging about the dangers of our indifference to this planet and is an appeal for a dialogue about its future. Far more accessible than traditional cyclicals, ‘Laudato Si’ critiques consumerism and laments environmental degradation and global warming.

Ecologist and theologian Celia Deane-Drummond is a Professor in Theology at the University of Notre Dame and has published over 30 scientific and theological works including The Ethics of Nature and Future Perfect: God, Medicine and Human Identity.

Join us for comment and reflection on this ground-breaking document.

Residential prices start from £101, non-residential from £80.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices start from £101, non-residential from £80. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Greg Garret

Entertaining Judgement: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination

  • 22 — 24 July 2016

The lyrics of Madonna and Sean Combs; the plotlines of TV’s Lost, South Park and The Walking Dead; the implied theology in films such as The Dark Knight, Ghost, and Field of Dreams; the heavenly half-light of Thomas Kinkade’s popular paintings – all speak to our hopes and fears about what comes next.

During this short course, Greg Garrett offers imaginative insights into our persistent absorption with the afterlife through film, television, novels, art, pop music, graphic novels and more.

Greg published his book Entertaining Judgement: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination earlier this year. He is 2013 Centennial Professor at Baylor University where he teaches classes in screenwriting, literature, film, popular culture and theology. He is the author or co-author of three dozen short stories, a dozen scholarly articles and 20 books of fiction, non-fiction and memoir.

Residential prices start from £192, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices start from £192, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/entertaining-judgement-the-afterlife-in-popular-imagination

Gladstone's Library

The Authentic Paul

  • 25 — 29 July 2016

Following on from his popular re-interpretation of John, Kalyan Dey offers refreshing and liberal insights into the genuine writings of Paul - with surprising results.

This short course will help you look at both Paul and his writings with fresh eyes.

Residential prices start from £384, non-residential from £290. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.

Admission

Residential prices start from £384, non-residential from £290. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/the-authentic-paul

Greek in a Week

Greek in a Week

  • 1 — 7 August 2016

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.

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/greek-in-a-week2016

Hebrew in a Week

Hebrew in a Week

  • 8 — 14 August 2016

For those who know a little Hebrew and wish to revise and improve their knowledge or those who have no prior knowledge at all. All we ask is that you familiarise yourself with the Hebrew alphabet before you arrive.

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/hebrew-in-a-week2016

Latin in a Week

Latin in a Week

  • 15 — 21 August 2016

This successful approach to learning Latin aims to take complete beginners to the point where they can read short extracts of poetry and prose. It can also be enjoyed by those who know some Latin and wish to revise and improve their ability but no prior knowledge is assumed.

A week-long course led by Robert Parker.

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Click here for the full programme. For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.

Admission

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/latin-in-a-week2016

Welsh in a Week

Welsh in a Week - SOLD OUT

  • 22 — 28 August 2016

Arrive with little or no knowledge of the Welsh language and Julie Brake will ensure you leave at the end of the week able to carry on a conversation in Welsh.

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Click here for the full programme. For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.

Admission

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £586, non-residential from £430.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/welsh-in-a-week2016

Gladfest

Gladfest 2016

  • 2 — 4 September 2016

The UK's friendliest festival will return Friday, 2nd - Sunday, 4th September 2016.

Priority ticket release for Friends of the Library is Monday, 2nd May 2016.

Register as a Friend for a host of benefits at our website - www.gladstoneslibrary.co.uk

Lineup announced May 2!

Latin Second Steps

Latin Second Steps

  • 5 — 9 September 2016

Aimed at those who have completed Latin in a Week or have knowledge of Latin to GCSE standard.

You will start reading and understanding extracts from the poets, comic playwrights and prose writers of Classical Latin literature.

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £384, non-residential from£290.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

To book call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices (bed & breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, lunch and dinner) start from £384, non-residential from£290.

Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/latin-second-steps2016

Gladstone's Library

Being Honest

  • 18 — 20 October 2016

With Ian Bradley and Peter Francis.

An ‘honest’ and ‘liberal’ reappraisal of some of the central tenets of the Christian faith.

Ian Bradley is the successful author of over 35 books and is a well-known broadcaster, journalist and lecturer. He is Principal of St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews. He writes regularly for The Times and the Guardian and often appears on the BBC.

Peter Francis has been Warden of Gladstone’s Library for over 19 years and prior to his time at the Library he was Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow. Throughout his ministry he has been concerned with matters of inclusion and the promotion of a liberal and rational faith.

Come and join the conversation.

Residential prices from £192, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Click here to view the full programme. To book or for more information, please call Reception on 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices from £192, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/being-honest

John Shelby Spong

Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy

  • 20 — 22 October 2016

With John Shelby Spong

In this short course, based on his latest bestselling book, Jack Spong uses the Gospel of Matthew as a guide to explore the gospel story’s grounding in Jewish culture, symbols, icons and story-telling tradition to explain how the events of Jesus’ life, including the virgin birth, the miracles, the details of the passion story, and the resurrection and ascension were never written to be understood literally. Literalism is a gentile heresy.

Jack Spong liberates the gospel to provide a blueprint for a new Christianity in a new world by casting off the church’s often leaden and, he would argue, heretical reading of the of the story of Jesus.

John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000. As a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches throughout the world, he is one of the leading spokespersons for liberal Christianity. The author of over two dozen books he has been a transformative voice in the Christian world and especially for those who would refer to themselves as ‘believers in exile.’ Jack is a Fellow of Gladstone’s Library.

Includes free entry to Matthew’s Passion Story: It’s Not History!, a public lecture by Bishop Spong.

Residential prices start from £202, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Click here to view the full programme. For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices start from £202, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/biblical-literalism-a-gentile-heresy

John Shelby Spong

Matthew’s Passion Story: It’s Not History!

  • 22 October 2016

A public lecture by John Shelby Spong
“There are no outcasts from the love of God.”

John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000. As a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches throughout the world, he is one of the leading spokespersons for liberal Christianity. The author of over two dozen books he has been a transformative voice in the Christian world and especially for those who would refer to themselves as ‘believers in exile.’

Jack is a Fellow of Gladstone’s Library.

This is the 2016 Robinson-Spong Lecture.

Tickets are priced at £12 including tea/coffee and scones after the lecture.

To book or for more information, please call Reception on 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.

Admission

Tickets are priced at £12 including tea/coffee and scones after the lecture.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/matthews-passion-story-its-not-history

Hearth

Hearth October 2016

  • 29 — 30 October 2016

Improve your writing, find out how to publish your novel, acquire hints and tips and find inspiration during our autumn micro-festival, Hearth.

The newest addition to the Gladstone's Library Calendar and the younger sibling of our Gladfest summer literature festival, Hearth began in 2013 and is held in November and February every year.

Hearth is an opportunity to meet, talk and create with four authors over a weekend of writing-related activity.

Lineup coming soon!

Admission

Ticket information coming soon!

Gladstone's Library

Film and Theology

  • 6 — 8 December 2016

An opportunity to consider and discuss some classic and contemporary films from a theological perspective - observing their world view and the values they promote.

Every film shown is award-winning and critically acclaimed.

Including:

The Lady in the Van

45 Years

Spotlight

Carol

Mad Max: Fury Road

Residential prices start from £192, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

For more information or to book, please call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org

Admission

Residential prices start from £192, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/film-and-theology

Christmas Craft Fair

Christmas Craft Fair

  • 11 December 2016

With a wide range of well-loved local designers and crafters.

The Library’s very own bookstore Gladbooks will also be bursting at the seams with a range of books for all ages!

If you're sick of trailing round hectic high street shops, this is the home-spun Christmas shopping opportunity for you.

Plus, enjoy a scrumptious Christmas Lunch with all the trimmings!

Free entry.

Admission

Free entry

Website

https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/christmas-craft-fair-2016

Getting there

Hawarden Railway Station is on the Wrexham – Bidston line which has connections to Liverpool. Hawarden Station is on Station Road and is 5 – 7 minutes' walk away from the Library.
If you are travelling a long distance, you may find it easier to travel to Chester and then get a bus (11, X44, or 4) or a taxi (we are approximately 8 miles from the railway station).

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

logo: Museums at Night

Website

www.gladstoneslibrary.org

E-mail

General Enquiries

enquiries@gladlib.org

Library Enquiries

library@gladlib.org

Louisa Yates, Director of Collections and Research.

louisa.yates@gladlib.org

Peter Francis, Warden.

peter.francis@gladlib.org

Natalie Tomlinson, Marketing Officer.

natalie.tomlinson@gladlib.org

Annette Lewis, Development Manager.

annette.lewis@gladlib.org

Telephone

General Enquiries

01244 532350

Fax

General Enquiries

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.
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