Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Hidden Gems

It has been a while since I posted anything substantial hasn't it? I've been incredibly busy recently, with university, projects and taking care of the puppy. Bree still has two weeks before her next set of injections, and after she has had those she is finally allowed to leave the house. I am very much looking forward to being able to take her to different places (and being able to leave the house for a long period of time).

I have always dreamed of having my own personal library with a spiral staircase, with shelves so high that you can only access the books near the top by climbing a ladder. As a child, I was completely infatuated with the library in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. When I reached the age of six and discovered C.S Lewis, I decided I would also like a library that you could only enter by walking through a wardrobe. At the age of twenty one, I would still very much like to have both of these things.

Bromley House Library is situated in the centre of Nottingham, nestled amongst the tall, imposing buildings of the city. It truly is a sanctuary in such an urban environment. It was founded in 1816, and is home to over forty thousand books. It also features a relaxing little walled garden. I had been planning on visiting for quite some time, and went along to an open day a few months ago. Most of these photographs are in black and white as my camera was being temperamental, and turning everything yellow (I adjusted the white balance and it made almost no difference). However, I think adding a black and white filter only enhances the beauty of the library. I couldn't quite capture how beautiful and serene the library is, but I did my best.



The range of older texts was astounding. I felt very privileged to be allowed to view them. My particular favourite was the photo shown above, a truly spectacular edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses. It took quite a long time for me to pull myself away and let other people take a look!

I am actually posting this in reverse; we walked through the walled garden on entry as rain was forecast and we wanted to make the most of the sunshine. However, I couldn't resist posting the photographs of the library and of the books first.



If I had been blindfolded and taken into the garden, I would have rejected all claims of being in the city centre. It is delightfully tranquil. I was unfortunately unable to take many photographs in the garden as there were too many people walking around. It is the perfect place to curl up with a book in the sunshine.

I absolutely recommend attending an open day and visiting the library for yourself, as it is difficult to capture on camera. I would love to be able to afford to join (it costs £90 per year). I also firmly believe that more libraries should have spiral staircases!

Have you been anywhere interesting lately?

8 comments:

  1. You made me smile with your comment about Beauty and Beast library, as I basically fell the same way (and still do!) as a child. It is funny, but I keep every single library card I hold since my teen years. My first membership was made when I was only seven, but unfortunately that card was missing a long, long time ago.

    I see you are a huge fan of libraries as well, which is kind of exciting.
    I had never heard about Bromley before, nevertheless it looks like an awesome place I would love to visit in the future. I totally love your historic building posts ♥

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    1. Beauty and the Beast has always been my favourite Disney movie. I loved it as a child because Belle loved reading! I keep all of my library cards too! I still have mine from when I was tiny. My mum used to take me to our local library on her visits when I was a baby, and I can remember not being able to climb the stairs so I must have been really young.

      I don't think that libraries get the recognition that they should. My local library really encouraged me to read, and I used to look forward to visiting every week. Sadly, it is only open for two afternoons a week now, which is such a shame. I would love to be a librarian!

      You would adore Bromley House! It's incredibly peaceful, and it was fascinating. It has everything I love in one place: books, history and beauty!

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  2. The library is beautiful! And the staircase looks lovely with its iron rail. When you mentioned the spiral stair and interesting libraries I was reminded of our university library. It is a very new and modern building with a spiral stair. The thing is that the spiral stair is at the same the walls and bookshelves of the library, it is built like a big vortex with a floor at the bottom were they hold lectures. I vrote about it in my easter post this year. I usually dont like modern things but this library is great and they even have a café and you are allowed to sit and drink coffe inside.

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    1. Your university library sounds wonderful! My university library isn't pretty on the outside, but inside it's really nice. It has four floors and a café so I like it! It's definitely an improvement on my old university library which had one floor, with sensitive lights that didn't seem to work so it was incredibly dark. Your library sounds lovely. It must be really convenient to have your library and lecture theatres in one place.

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  3. That library is divine! I can imagine spending endless hours there with the exquisite company of good books and a cup of tea! :) It's a pity we do not have something of the sorts here in Bucharest, I would be there everyday, so I can imagine you not wanting to leave! :D

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    1. It was wonderful! Very peaceful. I could spend days in there!

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  4. What a beautiful place. We really don't appreciate our libraries enough as a nation, I live in an area where one local council have closed all but their flagship town centre library and 2 satellites. It's heartbreaking. My favourite library is Newcastle's Lit & Phil, the largest private library in the country outside of London. It has a wealth of random oddities and is in a beautiful if now a bit decrepit building.

    My favourite fictional library has to be the library of Dream of the Endless in Neil Gaiman's Sandman. I'm sure it got ripped off in a Doctor Who episode, Silence in the Library (with the wonderful David Tennant),

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    1. I absolutely agree. My local library which encouraged me to read from a very young age is now open only a couple of afternoons a week, and is frighteningly neglected. It's incredibly sad, and as somebody who benefited from my local library a lot as a child, I am very concerned that children will no longer have libraries as a resource, and will therefore grow up without the joy of reading. I've just looked up Lit & Phil, what a beautiful place! I've only been able to visit Newcastle once, and unfortunately it rained for the duration of my trip so I wasn't able to look around properly. I would love to go back as I have family from Newcastle.

      I've actually never read Sandman, I will add it to my seemingly never-ending list of books I need to read!

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