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Central Library

A Grade II Listed Building in Castle (Castell), Swansea

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6236 / 51°37'24"N

Longitude: -3.9438 / 3°56'37"W

OS Eastings: 265535

OS Northings: 193428

OS Grid: SS655934

Mapcode National: GBR WRX.V6

Mapcode Global: VH4K9.LGD7

Entry Name: Central Library

Listing Date: 30 March 1987

Last Amended: 30 March 1987

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11550

Building Class: Recreational

Location: In a group of public buildings at the N end of the city centre

County: Swansea

Community: Castle (Castell)

Community: Castle

Built-Up Area: Swansea

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Swansea

History

Erected 1886-7. Designed by Henry Holtom of Dewsbury (cost £20,000). Italianate

Exterior

Monumental, symmetrical classical design; red brick facings with pale freestone dressings.
2-storey, attic and basement. Advanced centre and end bays with slate pavilion roofs (centre roof destroyed in Second War), tower to centre with tripartite arched windows. Main dentilled cornice with solid parapets and plain frieze. Banded quoins to upper floor, angle and fluted pilasters below; windows divided 2-4-1-4-2, outer bays with fluted tympana and inscribed tablets. Swagged and fluted oculi to inner bays over pedimented and keyblocked studio windows. Oriel treatment to central aedicule flanked by niches and elaborate overthrow with reclining figures. Arched and keyblocked ground floor windows with linked impost bands and panelled aprons. Segmental, keyblocked basement windows behind area railings. Mostly T-frame glazing.

Set-back bay on far right, similar style with glazed top storey and 2-bay return elevation. Porch to street with segmental pedimented doorcase, panelled pilasters and carved tympanum. Main arched and pilastered doorcase has foliage carving to spandrels and keyblock, sliding double doors, quadrant parapets to steps up. Smaller doorcase to far left with guilloche surround, inscribed over door under glazed lunette, flying platform to steps, 6-panel doors.

Interior

Interior of entrance hall has paired doorways up steps, arched coffered ceiling to vestibule, elaborate timber pedimented doorcases with lunettes over, arched and pilastered treatment to lateral corridors. Aisled, circular rear Reading classical detailing. Cast iron columns with rich acanthus capitals and radiating timber bookcases with guilloche ironwork balconies support entablature.

Reasons for Listing

Group value.

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