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Passmore Edwards Free Library and Institute

A Grade II Listed Building in Bodmin, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4714 / 50°28'17"N

Longitude: -4.7247 / 4°43'28"W

OS Eastings: 206750

OS Northings: 67055

OS Grid: SX067670

Mapcode National: GBR N2.MQ72

Mapcode Global: FRA 07ZT.55F

Plus Code: 9C2QF7CG+H4

Entry Name: Passmore Edwards Free Library and Institute

Listing Date: 7 January 1994

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1298215

English Heritage Legacy ID: 368027

Location: Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Bodmin

Built-Up Area: Bodmin

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Bodmin

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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629-1/2/85 (South side)
Passmore Edwards Free Library and


Institute and library. 1895. By Silvanus Trevail. For
benefactor Passmore Edwards.
MATERIALS: coursed squared local rubble with rock-faced
granite plinth, otherwise freestone dressings including
doorway and mullioned windows; mid-floor and 1st-floor sill
strings and gable copings; dry slate roofs with shaped gables,
crested clay ridge tiles.
PLAN: irregular rectangular plan. Gothic style with Dutch
Renaissance features.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys plus attic; symmetrical 1:1:1-bay road
front. Central recessed entrance bay flanked by 2 cross wings
with shaped gables. 2-light window with balcony balustrade on
machicolations over round-arched doorway with vertical-glazed
fanlight and panelled doors; flanking bays with paired
chamfered attic lights with scrolled heads, over 3-light
1st-floor transomed windows with segmental-arched pediments;
ground-floor windows with 4 lights over 2 lights.
INTERIOR: original features include round arches to crossing
vestibule, moulded ceiling cornices and open-well staircase
with open string and turned balusters.
HISTORY: Bodmin is one of 11 libraries and institutes donated
by John Passmore Edwards to his county of birth. The seed-germ
of this great man's philanthropy was possibly created by a
traumatic experience he had at Bodmin, when, "as a young
office boy in Truro he walked to Bodmin and back, twenty miles
each way, to witness the public hanging of two murderers".
Later in life he devoted much energy to denouncing capital
punishment and fighting for its abolition. Silvanus Trevail
(1851-1903) designed 6 buildings for John Passmore Edwards in
Cornwall. He was a prolific architect who, apart from other
buildings, designed 36 schools in Cornwall and eventually
became President of the RIBA in 1901.
(Best R S: The Life and Good Works of John Passmore Edwards:
Redruth: 1981-: 12, 45).

Listing NGR: SX0675067055

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