Spotlight on: Bromley House Library

Bromley House Library 4

Tucked away amongst the more modern buildings on Long Row in Nottingham City Centre is Bromley House Library. It is not until you enter the front doors of the 250 year old building that you can fully appreciate and be amazed by many of its original Georgian features.

The library itself has been in operation since 1816 and moved to the Bromley House premises in 1822. The building was formerly built and owned by the Smith banking family in 1752 and many of its internal unique historical features can still be seen today.

Bromley House is in fact a subscription library, one of only 30 such libraries in the UK, Bromley House Library 3but still opens to the public for various events and tours throughout the year. With 40,000 volumes on everything from fiction to theology to natural history to French literature, the earliest book in the collection is dated from the 16th century. Even though the library is privileged enough to own such rare, historical books, it is not a museum so everything is available for reading and looking at, but members are asked to handle with care.

Bromley House Library 1The double height reading room features a decorative winding staircase and extended windows to help let in natural light. Further historic features, such as The Meridian Line which runs precisely North-East, tell an interesting story of how members used to witness a spot light of sunshine through the window onto the Meridian Line at solar noon in Nottingham, in order to work out the specific time of day.

It was thrilling to climb to the attics and be shown the site of the first photographic studio in the East Midlands, which was there in the 1840s. The room still holds nails and dolly pegs from the beams on the low ceiling that the photographers would have used to hang up their work to dry. Another special experience was walking through the back doors into the secret garden that is a paradise of flowers and a green grass area which members can take advantage of on a warm and sunny day.

It is in fact a very popular venue for group visits, and they welcome group sizes of between 10 and 20 people on regular set days. Bromley House plan to host a series of talks and events to commemorate the centenary of the Great War next year.

Bromley House Library 2

Click here to view Bromley House’ 2014 open events.

Posted on 17 January 2013
Featured author: Carly Jones PR Assistant

Chocolate and animal lover, who has landed lucky in a job I love! #lovenotts

Comments (0)

Post a comment

Our monthly pick

Nottingham We Dig The Castle

We Dig The Castle: Unearthing Nottingham’s Archaeological Secrets Part Two

This blog is the second instalment of a two part blog. To read part one click here. Back in July I visited Nottingham Castle to find out more about the annual archaeological excavation ‘We Dig The Castle’. A partnership project between Trent & Peak Archaeology, Nottingham City Council and Historic England, this excellent scheme invites volunteers…

Your favourite places

Featured authors

  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

  • Kinga

    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

  • Alistair

    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

  • Natalie

    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

  • Sophie

    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

Have a go...

unesco city of literature nottingham

Speak In Nottingham To Me – A Beginner’s Guide To Nottingham’s Dialect

Language is certainly one of our best creations. Without it, it would be difficult for us to coexist, establish communities and share feelings. Language makes it all easier and helps us work together and understand one another. Throughout history people always felt the need to find one universal language for all. Several attempts were made to popularise different languages…