We went to Chetham's Music School a couple of weeks ago and said that we would return for a tour of the adjoining Chetham's Library. Dating from 1653, Chetham's describes itself as the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. The building that houses the library is considerably older, however, having been build in 1421 as a college attached to the nearby collegiate parish church.
The library holds over 100,000 books, many of which are beautifully shelved in small stacks, protected by mesh. Some books still retain the chains which were attached to ensure they could not be removed, tethering them to their shelf.
Far away from the hustle and bustle of the modern city outside, Chetham's is an oasis of calm.
|Beautifully displayed books
|Protected by mesh
|Some books are still attached to their chains
|The alcove where Marx and Engels studied in 1845, along with books they referred to
|The Angel Stone which dates from about 700, probably from a Saxon church which stood on the site
|The post-war stained glass is quite striking
|Intricate carving in the choir stalls
|More detailed carving