Midhurst Public Library Building, Sussex, England
One of my favorite buildings in Midhurst is the old Midhurst Public Library on Knock Hundred Row. It sits just west of Sheep Lane and Church Square, in the oldest part of Midhurst town. The building is thought to have been built in the late 1500s and through its history has seen many different occupants.
Tudor Family Homes
The original building on Knock Hundred row is thought to have been built in the late 1500s. At this point, it was a collection of four separate family dwellings. The building exterior has changed little since then except for the removal of several chimneys. The structure is of a timber frame with a tiled roof and brick walls.
Midhurst Working Men’s Club
By 1912 the building was occupied by the Midhurst Working Men’s Club. The interior was remodeled extensively. The four dwellings were converted to create a large hall and the original chimneys were removed. There are many postcards of the building at sites like the Francis Frith collection with the emblem of the working men’s club on the front of the building. In 1936 the Midhurst Girls Club occupied the building. Then during the second world war, it was used as a reception center for evacuees escaping the big city bombing.
Midhurst Public Library
In 1946, following the end of the second world war, the building became the Midhurst Public Library. It was also designated as a Grade II Listed building. Described as the “most picturesque library in Britain” the hall-like central room gave it a spacious atmosphere as well as a great view of the timber-framed roof and walls. On 31st March 2014, the library moved to the new Grange Centre. The Midhurst Council has since taken over the building.
I took this photograph around Christmas 2013, between rain showers. I used my Pentax K-r and created the image from three exposures as an HDR composite.