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Latitude: 53.1859 / 53°11'9"N
Longitude: -3.0273 / 3°1'38"W
OS Eastings: 331451
OS Northings: 365919
OS Grid: SJ314659
Mapcode National: GBR 74.394Y
Mapcode Global: WH88C.G5NX
Entry Name: St Deiniol's Library
Listing Date: 16 November 1994
Last Amended: 16 November 1994
Source ID: 15025
Building Class: Education
Location: Set back from the road in its own walled grounds.
Community: Hawarden (Penarlâg)
Built-Up Area: Sandycroft
Traditional County: Flintshire
The library was founded by W.E. Gladstone in 1890 as a centre for Christian learning and as a place for study. A trust was established and some 25,000 of his own books were donated and lodged initially in a temporary building on the present site. Following his death in 1898 the present library wing was built as part of the National Gladstone Memorial, the trust voting £10,000 and Gladstone's estate providing £40,000 towards building costs. It was designed by Douglas and Minshull of Chester and was erected between 1899 and 1902. A further, accommodation wing was added 1904-6, also by Douglas and Minshull, and paid for by the Gladstone family.
Roughly H-plan and conceived as Jacobethan in design and as late Perpendicular in detail. Of red sandstone under a medium-pitched slate roof. Roughly symmetrical 2-storey S (main) front with central storeyed porch. To the L of this, with a gabled cross-wing, is the library. To the R with balancing cross-wing is the residential addition. The porch is coped and gabled with ball finial. Canopied nich to first floor with a sculpted, life-size statue of the Virgin within. Flanking 2-light mullioned windows with arched heads. Continuous moulded pointed entrance arch with recessed double wooden doors with decorative ironwork. Flanking buttress with gablets and moulded bases.
Library Range: 4 bays with dividing ground-floor buttresses, rising as applied shafts to end as crocketted finials above a crennelated parapet. 6-light cross windows to ground floor with leaded cames and paired, 2-light mullioned windows with arched lights above. Cross-wing to L with large coped and ball-finialled gable and octagonal corner turrets with ogee caps and crocketted finials. At first floor, a central niche with figure as before flanked by tall, 9-light oriel windows resting on plain, flat buttresses and with crenellated parapets. Tracery to upper lights. Small slit-window in gable apex with returned label. Ground floor with central 3-light mullioned window and then flanking 1 and 2-light windows, mostly with arched heads, and with a continuous label course. Gabled dormers, coped and finialed, to E and W faces of range. Single-storey extruded bay at intersection with main block. with crenellated parapet. Central louvre with ogee lead cupola and weathervane. Near symmetrical W facade with gabled and canted bays flanking a storeyed porch with attached octagonal stair-turret to L. Detailing as before.
Residential Wing (R of porch): 4 bays with simplified detailing. R bay extruded at angle with cross-wing, and with an entrance to its W face. 3-light mullioned windows, arched-headed, to first floor. 2 and 4-light windows to extruded bay, with angle buttress to S face. Plain coped parapet. Gabled cross-wing with projecting end chimney and flanking buttresses. 2, 3 and 6-light mullioned windows as before. Large canted and finialed ground-floor bay to W face with 3x9-light cross windows, and a similar bay to the rear (N) elevation.
Uneventful brick extension to the E with simple mullioned windows and a flat roof. L-shaped single-storey modern extension to the W of the Library range.
The Library is a 5-bay open hall with complex roof open to the collar and with arcade posts, giving the effect of an aisled hall, though actually supporting a gallery which runs along the E and W sides. Octagonal oak columns with ogee balustrading. The fascia of the gallery is enriched with complex tracery and foliate forms. The adjoining Divinity Library is a smaller and simpler version of this, though it contains simple stalls by H.S. Goodhart-Rendel.
An important work by John Douglas and his only major public commission. Listed Grade I for the national importance of its historical associations with W.E. Gladstone, whose foundation the library was.
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