Ainsley Gommon Architects


Gladstone's Library


Hawarden, Flintshire



Date Completed

Planning Achieved January 2020

Development Overview

Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden is the UK’s only residential research library and was founded by the 19th Century Prime Minister William Gladstone. This scheme increases the overnight accommodation available through the conversion of Stephen Gladstone Hall, a Grade II Listed former school building located adjacent to the library. Built in 1875, Stephen Gladstone Hall was originally part of Hawarden Infants School, but following its closure became St Deiniol’s Church Hall, and has more recently been used as a book repository for Gladstone’s Library.

As well as being Grade II Listed itself, the Hall is centrally located within the Hawarden Conservation Area and is of historical, social and architectural interest within the village of Hawarden. The Hall forms an important part of the street scene and it’s main double pile elevation dominates the central part of the Church Lane, forming an important grouping with the adjacent Listed 17th Century brick built Tithe Barn.

The proposals remodel the interior of the Hall to create 6 self contained double bedrooms laid out over 2 floors, with additional communal spaces for use by the guests. The ground floor provides three en suite study bedrooms, with one designed to be fully accessible, and a double height communal reading room, making a feature of the existing roof construction and the large windows in the rear gable. Upstairs a further three en suite study bedrooms are provided, along with a communal quiet area. The plan has been arranged to make full use of the existing window openings, therefore leaving the external elevations largely untouched.

The proposals, which were granted detailed Planning and Listed Building Consent in January 2020, provide a sustainable and inventive reuse of a redundant Grade II-listed building, whilst providing much needed additional accommodation for guests of Gladstone’s Library.