James Reckitt Library, Hull
Description: James Reckitt Library
Date Listed: 31 August 2004
English Heritage Building ID: 491348
OS Grid Reference: TA1095829503
OS Grid Coordinates: 510958, 429503
Latitude/Longitude: 53.7501, -0.3188
Location: 25-27 Franklin St, Hull, Kingston upon Hull HU9, UK HU9 1JF
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KINGSTON UPON HULL
680-1/0/10087 HOLDERNESS ROAD
31-AUG-04 James Reckitt Library
Public Library. 1888-89, altered late C20. Designed by W A Gelder of Hull. Red brick with ashlar dressings and slate roofs. 2 storey. Gothic Revival style. Moulded ashlar plinth. Tall brick chimney stacks.
Main street front has 7 window and a projecting centre. Central entrance has pointed arched doorway with brick and stone voussoirs and an ashlar hood mould, double plank doors with ornate iron hinges reached up a flight of 5 stone steps. Either side three pointed arched windows, also with brick and stone voussoirs and linking cill and impost ashlar bands. Above a broad ashlar band inscribed 'THE JAMES RECKITT PUBLIC LIBRARY'. First floor has canted ashlar oriel window to slightly projecting central bay, flanked by 3 windows on either side with ashlar lintels and continuous hood mould. Moulded and bracketted eaves cornice with ashlar parpet above pierced by 5 quatrofoil openings on each side. Central bay rises as a tower with a 3-light cross-casement window with ashlar lintel, four corner pinnacles all truncated, former pyramidal tower roof missing.
INTERIOR retains many original features including moulded coving and skirting boards. Foyer retains unusual timber doorcases with bratished hoods. Main ground floor library has moulded Gothic-style columns supporting shallow pointed arches forming a double arcade. Modern false ceilings conceal original ceilings supported on moulded timber braces. Original timber issuing desk survives with blind arcading on front and one side. Reference library contains two original fitted glass cupboards, the larger one bears dedication plaque inscribed 'This Reference Library given by FRANCIS RECKITT Esq JP of CAENWOOD Towers, Highgate, London.' Main staircase has bold turned balusters and newel posts. Old Reading room has open ceiling supported on timber braces and moulded corbels.
This public library for eastern Hull was opened by the Marquis of Ripon on Tuesday Dec 10th, 1889.
This is a relatively early example of a major municipal library. Though the exterior has lost its tower roof - due to war damage - the remains of the exterior survives intact and the interior retains a remarkable number of original interior features.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.