Leighton Library

Dunblane, United Kingdom

The Leighton Library is the oldest purpose built library in Scotland and also has a well-documented history as one of the earliest public subscription libraries 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), Minister at Newbattle, Principal of Edinburgh University, Bishop of Dunblane and Archbishop of Glasgow. Robert Leighton's personal collection consisted of 1,400 books and the Leighton Library was built to host the books which had been left to Dunblane Cathedral.

The library was completed in 1687, with Dr James Fall the Principal of the University of Glasgow coming to inspect the building erected in his friends memory.

The two-storey building consists of one apartment which is entered from a stone staircase, beneath the apartment are two vaults which have previously been used as a plasterer's store and at a later point as a painter's store. The library is lit by three windows, two to the west of the building and one to the south, it is a wood lined library with sixteen bookcases lining the walls and low presses for books stand in the centre of the room. The fore-stair into the building had originally run from east to west but at the start of the 19th century it was changed to run north to south.

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Founded: 1687
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom

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Christopher Walker (5 years ago)
I didn't have long enough to fully appreciate this very old library building - and they're only open until 1pm so if you arrive in town around lunchtime you might find yourself out of luck. There are some real treasures here.
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