Leighton Library

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Coordinates: 56°11′20″N 3°57′54″W / 56.189°N 3.965°W / 56.189; -3.965 The Leighton Library, or Bibliotheca Leightoniana, in The Cross, Dunblane, is the oldest purpose built library in Scotland. Its collection of around 4000 volumes and 78 manuscripts from the 16th to 19th century is founded on the personal collection of Robert Leighton (1611–1684), bishop of Dunblane and archbishop of Glasgow, who had left the books to Dunblane Cathedral.


The library was built with a legacy of £100 from the late Archbishop Leighton. Despite scavenging building materials from the nearby cathedral and bishop's palace, the total cost of the building works was £162 2s. 6d, which was met by the executors of the archbishop's estate.[1]

The two-storey building, with fore-stair, was completed in 1687. The building is one long wood lined apartment with two stone vaults below. It is lit by windows to the south and west.

At the beginning of the 20th century the building had fallen into neglect and was affected by damp and, during World War II, an air-raid shelter was constructed within its vaults. During the 1950s and 1980s renovation, repair, and cataloging was carried out, and the library was officially re-opened in May 1990.[1] The library is a category A listed building.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b The History of Dunblane, Alexander B Barty, 1994, ISBN 1-870542-29-0
  2. ^ "Listed building details (number=26371)". Historic Scotland.