JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY, Deansgate, Manchester. Interior view, showing a staircase and architectural details as seen from a half-landing. The library was completed in 1899 to the designs of architect Basil Champneys, and was commissioned by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her late husband. The library is a fine example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture. Photographed by Bedford Lemere and Co. in 1900
Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places
EDITORS COMMENTS This print transports us back to the grandeur of the late 19th century. The image showcases the magnificent interior of John Rylands Library in Deansgate, Manchester. Designed by architect Basil Champneys and completed in 1899, this architectural gem stands as a testament to Victorian Gothic Revival style. From a half-landing perspective, we are treated to a breathtaking view of an ornate staircase that seems to ascend towards the heavens. Every step is adorned with intricate carvings and delicate details that reflect the craftsmanship of its time. The play of light and shadow adds depth and drama to this already awe-inspiring scene. The library was commissioned by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her beloved husband, making it not only a place for knowledge but also a symbol of love and remembrance. It serves as a reminder that libraries hold more than just books; they harbor stories, emotions, and connections between generations. Photographed by H Bedford Lemere in 1900, this timeless image captures the essence of an era long gone but still preserved within these walls. It invites us to appreciate not only the beauty found within architecture but also how it can shape our understanding of history. As we gaze upon this photograph print today, we are reminded that even amidst modernity's rapid progressions, there will always be spaces like John Rylands Library that stand as guardians of our past while inspiring future generations with their enduring elegance.
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