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Marx Memorial Library

A Grade II Listed Building in Clerkenwell, London

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Latitude: 51.523 / 51°31'22"N

Longitude: -0.1058 / 0°6'20"W

OS Eastings: 531512

OS Northings: 182154

OS Grid: TQ315821

Mapcode National: GBR N8.D7

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.3ZYC

Entry Name: Marx Memorial Library

Listing Date: 29 September 1972

Last Amended: 30 September 1994

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1279541

English Heritage Legacy ID: 368772

Location: Islington, London, EC1R

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Clerkenwell

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St James Clerkenwell

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


635-1/74/281 (North West side)
29/09/72 No.37A
Marx Memorial Library
(Formerly Listed as:
(North West side)
Nos.37,37A & 38 (Consecutive))


Library. Built as the Welsh Charity School in 1737-8 to the
designs of James Steere; the front elevation rebuilt in 1968-9
in sympathy with the original design under the supervision of
A.A.Stewart; a circular plaque in the pediment records the
dates 1737 and 1969. Brick covered with stucco, roof of Welsh
slate. Two storeys over basement, five-window range and
double-fronted, the three middle bays projecting slightly
under a pediment and flanked by rusticated quoins which also
flank the facade as a whole. Central flat-arched entrance with
moulded stucco architrave and cornice on consoles over;
doorcase has cornice and overlight. All windows flat-arched
and without architraves except the central first-floor window
which has a moulded stucco architrave and keystone; sill band
to ground floor and storey band between floors; cornice,
blocking course and pediment. End stacks. This building housed
the Welsh Charity School (1738-1772), the Northumberland Arms
(1738-1838), coffee rooms (1838-1880), the London Patriotic
Club, an important radical workmen's club (1872-1892), the
Twentieth Century Press, publishers of Socialist literature
(1892-1922), and the Marx Memorial Library from 1933. Lenin
edited Iskra here from 1902-1903.
INTERIOR: . There are barrel-vaulted tunnels underneath the
building and extending well beyond which may have been
connected with the C12 nunnery on the site or with the former
Sessions House (q.v.). On the first floor, on the party wall
to the west, is a mural painting 'The Worker of the Future
upsetting the Economic Chaos of the Present' painted c.1935 in
buon fresco by Viscount Hastings, a pupil of Diego Rivera.
The building is of exceptional importance as the only
surviving building in Britain intimately associated with
(Historians' file, English Heritage London Division; Daily
Mirror, 10 October 1935).

Listing NGR: TQ3151482155

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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