Library And Museum

21 Jul 2002
Library And Museum, North Hill, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8EZ
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Library And Museum, Tavistock Hill, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8EZ
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


SX4854 NORTH HILL, Plymouth 740-1/58/385 (East side) 01/05/75 Library and Museum (Formerly Listed as: TAVISTOCK ROAD, Plymouth Library and Museum)


Library and museum. 1907 by Thornely and Rooke. Damaged during the Blitz and subsequently restored. Plymouth limestone ashlar with limestone dressings; dry slate roofs behind tall parapet with modillion cornice and moulded entablature and pediments to the projecting bays; dressed stone stacks with moulded entablature. Edwardian Baroque style. Very long plan articulated at the front. EXTERIOR: single-storey, over basement to museum (1st floor lit by roof lights); 2-storey entrance and stair projections.

Museum has symmetrical 1:3:3:3:1-bay front; library has symmetrical 3:1:3-bay front plus bay on the right, all with plinth or basement as plinth. The single bays are broken forward and surmounted by pediments with modillion cornices like the parapet cornice. The projecting central bays of the museum have a stepped parapet with central Diocletian window with stepped keys and with swagged festoons to the spandrels; narrow flanking bays broken forward and with panels to parapet, all with modillion cornice like the main parapet. Below the parapet entablature is a recessed central bay with a giant order of distyle composite columns in antis. Between the columns is a moulded 3-light mullioned window over a round-arched recessed doorway with moulded keyblock and moulded inner and outer imposts. The arch and the festooned spandrels have channelled rustication and this is carried on 2 orders of Tuscan pilasters. Channelled rustication to flanking bays, each bay with a tall 1st-floor window with elaborate architrave over a square 2-light window within a moulded architrave, both with aprons.

The flanking groups of 3 bays have paired composite columns flanking the bays which contain tripartite windows with central open pediment over entablature and attached Tuscan columns. These bays stand on a basement with channelled rustication and there are keyed segmental-arched openings to the right-hand basement. Each of the narrow end bays of the museum has a triangular pediment over a 3-light mullioned window with apron. Pavement-level doorway has and open and broken pediment framing a panel within a moulded architrave.

Library has projecting central bay with stepped parapet with open pediment on giant order of paired square composite columns. There is a Venetian window with composite columns rising into the festooned pediment, and there is an open-pedimented Tuscan doorway with cartouche above scene depicting the ship Mayflower within the tympanum of the round-arched inner doorway. Each group of 3 flanking bays has central window with open segmental pediment and flanking windows with open triangular pediment, all on attached columns. The bay at far right has channelled rustication and a cartouche over a tripartite window with an open segmental pediment. INTERIOR: restored in 1954 and contains some good features to the main entrance including a cantilevered stone staircase and stained glass celebrating literary figures by Morris & Co, 1925. A very confident example of a public building in this characteristic Edwardian style. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Devon: London: 1989-: 657).

Listing NGR: SX4808754895


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1233 IOE Records taken by Andrew C Letchford; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Andrew C. Letchford. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Letchford, Andrew C.

Rights Holder: Letchford, Andrew C.


Ashlar, Devonian Limestone, Limestone, Slate, Victorian Library, Education, Recreational, Art And Education Venue, Museum