Waldegrave Road, "The Library"

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"The Library", Waldegrave Road
"The Library" 1970, Waldegrave Road

Road: Waldegrave Road

Property: "The Library"

This building is now Listed. The stone plaque over the entrance reads "Carnegie Library 1905". Teddington Library, built in 1906, was designed by a Twickenham based architect, Henry Cheers and built by N.J. Fryer & Co. of Sloane Square, London. The building cost £3,550. It has survived well - largely original. It was only listed as of architectural or historic interest relatively recently, in 2011.

The Twickenham Museum has information on Henry Cheers; go to : http://www.twickenham-museum.org.uk/detail.asp?ContentID=338

The listing description includes the following: "public library, by HA Cheers, in Edwardian Baroque manner. Funded by Andrew Carnegie."

The façade is built of red brick with Portland stone and gauged brick dressings, the flanks and rear are of stock brick; roofs are of slate.

The library has a one and a half storey frontage with a symmetrical façade, with a pedimented entrance. The entrance is set behind a screen of paired Ionic columns with pronounced rectangular blocks, and cherubic heads carved in the capitals. The bases of the pairs of piers have inscribed granite foundation stones. The pediment is enriched with a cartouche inscribed "Carnegie Library". Above the entrance, the central bay has full dormer sash windows. The central window has a segmental pediment, the smaller flanking sashes have triangular pediments. Dominating the roofline is a bell turret or fleche with a splayed copper dome, flanked by tall brick stacks. Each flanking bay is of one and a half storeys beneath an enriched shaped gable, that to the right dated 1906. Each has a canted ground-floor window bay and a broken segmental-pedimented first floor window.

The interior is of much interest, richly decorated, and the description goes on to include the following:

"The library is single storey and top-lit. The ceiling is of flat, glazed panels enriched with green coloured glass, beneath a pitched glazed roof. An open, three-bay screen of square-based battered piers separates this room from the former newspaper library, which is set at right angles to the street, arranged in five bays, 1:3:1. It is also top-lit, beneath a segmental, glazed roof and is similarly decorated to the main library, with a moulded, coved, frieze and cartouches inscribed with authors' names. Clockwise from the left of the entrance these are: Chaucer, Gray, Scott, Pope, Bunyan, Burns, Bacon and Shakespeare. To the left of the main library, a round-arched opening gives onto a rectangular room beneath a glazed dome. The drum has enriched panels and the roof has leaded glazing, with coloured glass panels. The room opens onto a front room which, like the opposite reference room, has a lighter moulded ceiling and dado; windows have moulded shafts and leaded panes to the upper lights.

"A bronze memorial wall plaque to author R.D. Blackmore (1825-1900), who lived in Teddington, commemorates the centenary of his birth. Other fittings include a regulator clock, and a detached bronze bust of Noel Coward, who was born nearby, by Avril Vellacot."

The Historic England weblink is at:


© Historic England 1952. The National Heritage List for England entry contained in this material was obtained on 15/7/13. The most publicly available up to date National Heritage List Entries can be obtained from www.historicengland.org.uk

This page is part of the Directory of Buildings of Townscape Merit (BTMs) and Listed Buildings in Teddington assembled by the Planning and History Groups of The Teddington Society. Click on any photo for a higher resolution version. Copyright for the material on this page rests with the contributor.