Bromley House Library

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.




26 Replies to “Bromley House Library”

    1. 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

  1. *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.


    1. 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

  2. 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.


    1. 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.


  3. 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! ⭐


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