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

Film and Theology

  • 6 — 8 December 2016 *on now

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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