List entry

List entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1217800



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
ManchesterMetropolitan Authority

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 25-Jan-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Jun-1994

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 388101

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



SJ8398SE DEANSGATE 698-1/27/118 (West side) 25/01/52 John Rylands Library and attached railings, gates and lamp standards (Formerly Listed as: DEANSGATE Rylands Library)


Library. 1890-99, by Basil Champneys, for Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband; with back extension 1912, also by Champneys. Red sandstone (roof not visible). Rectangular plan at right-angles to street, plus back extensions. Decorated Gothic style with Arts and Crafts accent. Two unequal storeys with the appearance of 3 storeys, designed like a church raised on a crypt, the facade composed of a 2-storey 3-bay centre (like the gatehouse of a monastery) flanked by square 2-storey 2-bay wings, with an embattled parapet to the whole and large octagonal lanterns over the wings; and, set back behind these, the east window of the reading hall flanked by square towers. The centre has very elaborate Gothic decoration throughout, including a 2-centred arched portal containing coupled doorways with a trumeau, a tall 2-light window each side, 2 small canted oriels above the portal, lacy blind tracery on all surfaces enriched with finely-detailed carving, and open-work aracading in the battlements; and the set-back 3-light east window of the hall has delicate reticulated tracery and shafts carried up to a similar open-work parapet. The walls of the wings and the towers, by contrast, are plain except for string courses enriched with grotesques: the wing to the left has tall transomed staircase windows at 1st floor with staggered sills, and low segmental-headed windows below these, that to the right has tall windows at ground floor and short ones above, and both have octagonal corner turrets with flying buttresses thrown back to the octagonal lanterns. The lanterns have transomed 2-light windows, blind tracery and open-work battlements like those of the centre, and the towers behind them have slender octagonal corner turrets and small 2-light windows above the level of the octagons. Return sides in similar style. Fine bronze forecourt railings with central double gates flanked by lamp standards, all in Art Nouveau style. Interior: very fine vaulted entrance hall and winding vaulted staircase; church-like reading hall with much elaborate decoration, including traceried arcades, rib-vaulted ceiling, panelled reading alcoves with oriel windows, statues of John Rylands and Mrs Rylands, etc. History: built to house the theological library of John Rylands (leading textile manufacturer and philanthropist), subsequently augmented by purchase of other collections, and now one of the finest in the country.

Listing NGR: SJ8356898213

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: SJ 83568 98213


© Crown Copyright and database right 2015. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2015. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.

This copy shows the entry on 01-Sep-2015 at 02:50:32.