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Acton Public Library

A Grade II Listed Building in South Acton, London

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Latitude: 51.5065 / 51°30'23"N

Longitude: -0.2684 / 0°16'6"W

OS Eastings: 520271

OS Northings: 180044

OS Grid: TQ202800

Mapcode National: GBR 8R.WHK

Mapcode Global: VHGQX.9DGF

Plus Code: 9C3XGP4J+JJ

Entry Name: Acton Public Library

Listing Date: 20 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1390680

English Heritage Legacy ID: 491160

ID on this website: 101390680

Location: Acton, Ealing, London, W3

County: London

District: Ealing

Electoral Ward/Division: South Acton

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Ealing

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Mary Acton

Church of England Diocese: London

Tagged with: Library building

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962/0/10086 Acton Public Library

Public Library. 1898-1900 by Maurice B Adams for Passmore Edwards. Red brick with Bath stone dressings, bandings and carvings, slate roof. Two storeys. The range on the east side was originally one stoerey, with later first-floor addition. The High Street façade is remarkable. Two projecting two-storey bays with open segmental pediments anchor the bases of a dramatic gable surmounted by a chimney. The entrance is in the eastern bay, and is itself surmounted by a two carved consoles in the form an atlante and a caryatid. Cartouche above, with scrolled and shouldered surround inscribed 'PASSMORE EDWARDS PUBLIC LIBRARY; the equivalent on the western bay reads 'BOROUGH OF ACTON'. Ionic columns flank triple-arched windows; pediments contain strapwork cartouches with garlands. Gable enriched with scroil-flanked oeil-de-boeuf window below arched recess set on cherub's head and scroll bracket. Large scrolls also to base and apex of gable. Mullion and transom windows. Arched doorway in westernmost bay was former entrance to Librarian's accommodation on first floor, now adapted as reference library.

One of the most picturesque library designs, with an unusually large amount of well-executed decorative arcing, by the most prolific designer of public libraries. One of the fifteen public libraries in London paid for by John Passmore Edwards, one of the great philanthropists of the library movement and proprietor of the Building News, edited by Maurice B Adams. This library forms an important civic group with the adjoining town hall. The interior and side elevations are of lesser interest: what is really important about this building is its exceptionally sculptural façade.

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