Monday, 18 March 2013

The Best Bit of Manchester...

[Warning:  loads of photos, presented in no particular order.]

This has to be the best part of Manchester, well, the best bit we found on this trip (aside from Charlotte, of course).  

Every alcove had these wonderful light fixtures.

Each alcove had book shelves and desks...and real live 
students - how I envied them getting to study here.

A stone carved ceiling

I saw this place, the reading room of John Rylands Library, in a list of beautiful libraries and have wanted to visit for ages.  

From the labyrinth of hallways

Ceiling panel from an alcove

Art nouveau radiator grill?

The John Rylands library is part of the University of Manchester.  

I do miss card catalogs...

Each alcove either side of the central passage
is a wonderous and somehow private place.

I've saved this post to the last, and so we'll be done with this trip to Manchester. (But first more pictures!)

White statue is Mrs. Rylands

A domed ceiling

The amazing thing I discovered in drafting this post is that John Rylands had nothing to do with this place other than providing the money to build it.

Out in the halls.

I mentioned earlier that textiles were big in Manchester following the industrial revolution.

Rylands was Manchester's first multi-millionaire and he made his money in the family's textile firm.

Charlotte liked the library, too.  She even knew to be quiet.

Rylands was married three times.  

His first wife gave him his six children, but all pre-deceased him, as did his first two wives.

I couldn't decide which was her best side...

This library was built in his memory by his widow, Enriqueta Augustina Tennant Rylands, the daughter of a Cuban mother and a Yorkshire merchant father.

John Ryland at the other end of the room.

She inherited the bulk of his estate, worth anywhere between £224 million and £1.1 billion (retail price index vs. average wages) in today's money, and became a major shareholder in the family textile company and in Manchester Ship Canal.

I'm thinking that it should be called the Enriqueta Rylands Library or at least the John and Enriqueta Rylands Library.  

In my next life, this will be the way to my office

Or maybe the Manchester Harry Potter Library.

And this will be my office door.

Don't you think?


Anonymous said...

AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH! What a cool library/building/place. It definitely was a best bit!!

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Firstly - Charlotte is growing up so fast! I remember when you posted her newborn photos, what a cutie!

I LOVE libraries! Fantastic photos, I just love walking around libraries and taking in the books, walking up and down the aisles, the decor...such atmosphere!