Bromley House Library

15 Aug

After finishing The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History, I idly typed into my search engine of choice, ‘secret library Nottingham’ and was surprised by actually finding one. Bromley House Library is smack bang in the centre of town, its unassuming doorway sandwiched between a charity shop and a newsagent.  It was very much like finding the Book Cemetery in Barcelona á la The Shadow of the Wind.

Arriving for my tour – which can be taken every Wednesday at 2:30pm for the excellent price of £2 – this is the scene that first greets the visitor, from there I knew it was going to be a book lovers dream to wander around in.  I later found out that that staircase is only supported at top and bottom so only one person can ascend or descend at a time.

This magnificent old building, built in 1752 has held the library since 1822, the library was in fact established earlier, in 1816 and has now amassed around 40,000 books, including local author (with a truly awesome last name) Alan Sillitoe’s own personal library (not pictured to due to my shaky hands phone camera work that rendered most of my photos a shocking mess) and the oldest book is Dante’s Opera held, dating from 1578.

Due to Bromley House being a grade II listed building, a lot of original features are still to be seen dotted around the place which makes the feeling of history and the real library reading experience feel more real.  I fell in love with this place as soon as I entered and wandering around the building I saw so much, more of which in an upcoming post.




Posted by on 15/08/2017 in Architecture, Classics, History, Travel


Tags: , , , , ,

26 responses to “Bromley House Library

  1. fantasticbookblog

    16/08/2017 at 00:20

    Beautiful building!


    • Ste J

      16/08/2017 at 08:18

      It really is and a wonderful atmosphere to read in.


  2. Clare Pooley

    16/08/2017 at 02:23

    What an exciting discovery! I am seriously considering a trip to Nottingham just to visit this place!


    • Ste J

      16/08/2017 at 08:14

      Ooo yes, you should. Then you must let me know in good time so you can be the first British blogger I have come face to face with. For some reason I tend to meet those thousands of miles away rather than in my own back garden, so to speak.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucy

    16/08/2017 at 11:55

    *sigh* I ‘d love to go there. I’d love even more to work there. And I’m delighted I know who Alan Sillitoe is as I bought a book of his photography, for when I feel like some Nottingham Nostalgia.


    • Ste J

      16/08/2017 at 12:34

      You wouldn’t want to leave, there are so many books including those from the British Sundial Society Library. Sillitoe had a wide ranging book collection as well, some decent sci-fi in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Christina Schmidt

    16/08/2017 at 17:19

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    A Wednesday re-blog. Another stop on my UK trip.


  5. Resa

    16/08/2017 at 17:21

    Wow! What a fabulous place!!!!


    • Ste J

      16/08/2017 at 18:12

      It had me under its spell straight away!


      • Resa

        22/08/2017 at 20:29

        That is one thing I am totally sure of in this life!


  6. shadowoperator

    16/08/2017 at 17:54

    Hi, Ste J. I responded before this to this post, but I don’t see my response anywhere, so I’ve got to assume that for some reason it didn’t copy. Anyway, I’m wondering if the term “library” means the same thing over there as it does (generally, anyway) over here. Over here, “library” usually means “lending library,” unless it’s a historical one which can’t let its books travel out safely. But I can’t imagine Bromley Library allowing Alan Sillitoe’s stuff to travel out. So, I’m guessing you have to read on premises, with non-greasy fingers, and no dropping crumbs in the books! Ha! Ha! Anyway, interesting post, lovely photos. Glad you had fun there.


    • Ste J

      16/08/2017 at 18:26

      I never saw an earlier comment from you, my friend, I noticed some of my comments didn’t show up when visiting today so it could be a WP glitchy thing. The library is a mix, if I remember rightly you can take out any recent books (1901-present), older books can only be read in the library as can the collections on permanent loan such as Sillitoe’s and a number of others. There are more photos to come as well, as usual I am so far behind with posts and ideas it is ridiculous.


  7. Andrea Stephenson

    16/08/2017 at 21:16

    What a fabulous hidden gem – I was disappointed not to find anything so exciting when I looked up secret library Newcastle!!


    • Ste J

      17/08/2017 at 09:07

      It does make you wonder what else is hidden in plain sight around our cities. When I can afford it, I think I will take a membership.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. hitandrun1964

    16/08/2017 at 22:38

    How wonderful.


    • Ste J

      17/08/2017 at 09:09

      It really was a wonderful surprise to come across.


  9. Aquileana

    17/08/2017 at 02:09

    Absolutely amazing… I am loving not only the books here… but the spiraling staircase … majestic 😉 Wishing you a great day, dear Ste… Love & best wishes! ⭐


    • Ste J

      17/08/2017 at 09:13

      It’s a wonderful building, perfect for books and to relax in! Take care my dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. macjam47

    19/08/2017 at 19:32

    Oh my gosh, what an amazing old library! I would never want to leave.


    • Ste J

      20/08/2017 at 07:36

      The only thing that got me out was my need for food and thoughts of the local Caribbean restaurant!

      Liked by 1 person

      • macjam47

        20/08/2017 at 16:46

        Haha! When the stomach starts to rumble it’s time to leave the quiet of a library.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. yulkaseman

    30/08/2017 at 14:09

    I absolutely love those spiral stairs!


    • Ste J

      30/08/2017 at 21:09

      They really do bring more character to the library.



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