Gladstone's Library

Gladstone's Library
Gladstone’s Library
Church Lane




Director of Collections and Research: Laura Yates

Warden: Peter Francis

Business Development Manager: Jane Dawson

Development Officer


01244 532350


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

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


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 or ring 01244 532350


Hearth at Gladstone's Library


  • 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.


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

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


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 ( / 01244 532350) or see information on the 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.