New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Friday Photo: Northfield Library

Posted July 3rd, 2020 by Ellie Gill with 1 Comment

Today’s Friday photo is Northfield Library in South Birmingham, another of the ‘Carnegie libraries’ funded by Andrew Carnegie the Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist. The land was given by George Cadbury and the foundation stone laid in 1906.

The original library building and its contents, including 1,500-1,600 books, were destroyed in February 1914 by members of the Birmingham branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union (later known as Suffragettes), who were engaging in militant tactics across the city to gain the vote.

On the spikes of the railings at the rear were found paper marked ‘’Give women the vote’’, also found was a parcel containing a book by Christabel Pankhurst, on which was written ‘’To start your new library’’.

The library was rebuilt to the same designs later that year by the City of Birmingham Free Library Committee.

One Response to “Friday Photo: Northfield Library”

  1. Keith Bracey July 4, 2020

    The American iron and steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie endowed several libraries across Birmingham and the Black Country including libraries in Tipton, Cradley, West Bromwich and Langley. Most of these libraries are still used as libraries today.


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