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.