'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
Marcus Tullus Cicero (106-43 BC)
I've lived in Nottingham for most of my life. I thought I knew every park, every bookshop, every corner, every alleyway.
So it was with astonishment and delight that I was introduced to Bromley House Library last week by a friend and neighbour. Hidden away between two uninspiring shops stood the large wooden door to Bromley House, a Grade 2 listed town house, built in 1752.
As I climbed the stone stairs, over-looked by ornate cornices, I slid my hand along the polished curved banister wondering how many thousands of people had passed through this stairwell searching for escape into another world through the port hole of a book. I reached the library's door and what a treasure trove lay behind it! Rooms full of Georgian features, shelves groaning under the weight of books old and new, a reading room with armchairs ready to cushion weary thighs, an old spiral staircase leading to a gallery of more delicious bookshelves, a meridian line sparkling gold in the midday sun, welcoming resting places on which to relax and read whilst over-looking a hidden gem of an original walled garden.
Bromley House had an amazing atmosphere too; a sense of history, knowledge, friendships past and present, sanctuary, contemplation and peace. I took a few photographs so I can share with you all, this remarkable building.
The reading room full of books, oil paintings and comfortable furniture in which to relax and read, and a large table for studying at.
Oil paintings, a grandfather clock and a very old ornate wrought iron spiral staircase leading to a gallery and further rooms.
An operational meridian line which runs through one of the reading rooms.
The library has been operating continuously since 1816. It has a collection of 40,000 books with new acquisitions each month.
The library is a rich resource for research, whether you want to study history or just read a contemporary novel or non-fiction book.
There's also a room available for making refreshments where a variety of newspapers are available to read. Bromley House is also a venue for talks, book launches and exhibitions. It was here that the first photographic studio in Nottingham operated from 1841.
If you'd like to find out more about the library or arrange a visit, you'll find more information here.