Picton Reading Room and Hornby Library

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Coordinates: 53°24′36″N 2°58′48″W / 53.410°N 2.980°W / 53.410; -2.980

Picton Reading Room and Hornby Library
Picton Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool. - geograph.org.uk - 147134.jpg
Picton Reading Room, William Brown Street
General information
Town or cityLiverpool
Construction started1875
Design and construction
ArchitectCornelius Sherlock (Picton Reading Room)
Thomas Shelmerdine (Hornby Library)

The Picton Reading Room and Hornby Library are two grade II* listed buildings on William Brown Street, Liverpool, England, which now form part of the Liverpool Central Library.

The chairman of the William Brown Library and Museum, Sir James Picton, laid the foundation stone of the Picton Reading Room in 1875. It was designed by Cornelius Sherlock, and modelled after the British Museum Reading Room, and was the first electrically lit library in the UK. It was completed in 1879 formally opened by the Mayor of Liverpool, Sir Thomas Bland Royden. The front is semicircular with Corinthian columns, and the shape was chosen by the architect to cover the change in the axis of the row of buildings at this point. The Hornby Reading Room (named after Hugh Frederick Hornby) by Thomas Shelmerdine was added in 1906. It stands behind the older building and the interior is decorated in the Edwardian Imperial style.[1]


Picton Reading Room[edit]

Hornby Library[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pevsner, N. (1969) Lancashire; 1: the industrial and commercial south. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books; p. 159

External links[edit]