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OPEN HOUSE FESTIVAL: Hammersmith Library throws open its doors

Hammersmith Library is one of the borough’s architectural treasures, and its famous stained glass windows can be admired during the Open House Festival London next month.

From 10am to 4pm on Saturday 4 September it’s possible to take self-guided tours of the Grade ll-listed building in Shepherds Bush Road, near Hammersmith tube station.

Funded by Andrew Carnegie and designed by Henry Hare, the library opened in 1905 to make reading accessible to everyone.

There are sculptures of Shakespeare and Milton by Frederick Schenk, while the stained glass in the upstairs archive room (accessible by marble staircase or lift) features literary figures including Chaucer, Spenser and Bacon. The cost of the windows was met by local councillors. 

On the ground floor, there’s also the Bennett Window with painted glass from the 16th-17th centuries that came from Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham.

At the top of the stairs is a portrait of the benefactor Carnegie.

For more details, visit the Hammersmith Library listing on the Open House London website.

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