In 1920 the council purchased Alston Villa, a large residential property on the corner of Portsmouth Road and Oak Road, with the intention of converting it into a public library.

The house was not really big enough for this purpose, but the open garden to the north of the house may have been the significant factor in its purchase, offering a site for the extension that would soon be necessary. The library was opened in October 1921. The planned purpose-built extension was built a few years later on the corner of Portsmouth Road and Oak Road. The original house still exists and is still part of the library.

In August 2016 the library moved to a new site in the Centenary Quay development in Woolston.

Woolston Library

Image Unavailable

photograph, 1998

See also:

Further reading:

‘The Development of Public Libraries in Southampton, 1887-1921’, by Richard Preston in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no. 15, Summer 2009, p 1-20.(HS/h)


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