After the heat and humidity of China, we headed into Scotland. fter all we were already half way there. These is so much to see, so many uniques libraries, art collections, and amazing little churches hidden away with amazing atworks. I would have liked to visit John Rylands Library now part of University of Manchester, but it didn’t fit into the schedule. However we did get to the Innerpeffray Library .
We had to do a bit of a search to find it as the GPS took us a sort of round about way. Its in the middle of open paddocks, and its hard to imagine people walking or riding in buggies to get there. But then, the houses of the farm worker have long since disappeared. See the gallery below for some views of the library , books and the original home of the library. Its a bit slow to load
Here is a report from their web site http://www.innerpeffraylibrary.co.uk and some of the backstory.
The Library and School at Innerpeffray were founded by David Drummond 3rd Lord Madertie in around 1680, the first free public lending library in Scotland. Lord Madertie was a member of the Drummond Family, one of the most important landowning families of the area, friend and brother-in-law to James Graham, First Marquis of Montrose.
The original library was "partly in the west end of the chapel of Innerpeffray and partly in that little new house lately built by me at the east end of the kirk yard." Making books available to ordinary people free of charge was unprecedented. Madertie wished the library and school to benefit the community "in time coming" and leaving them with a legacy of 5000 Scottish Merks ( I dont know how much this was in pounds but a lot of money) and charged his successors with the responsibility.
In 1739 Robert Hay Drummond inherited the Innerpeffray estate and responsibility for the Library and School. He raised the funds and commissioned architect Charles Freebairn to design and build a new Library building immediately adjacent to the Chapel. This handsome Georgian edifice still houses the library today
By the nineteenth century the school buildings were 'dilapidated' and a new School and Schoolmasters house were completed in 1846. Pupils came from the surrounding farms and settlements and the school was still in operation until 1946.
The Borrowers' Register is perhaps the Library's most valuable book, a handwritten record all the local people to who came to choose a book, and take it home to read. Today, families from all over the world find their ancestors in the Register, often in their own handwriting, and can hold the books they borrowed.
A worthwhile diversion. Back to October Meeting