Happy Birthday Queen’s Park Library!

Books & the City

Today Queen’s Park Library celebrates its 125th birthday.

Queen’s Park is Westminster’s oldest library. The purpose-built library first opened its doors on 16 January 1890 as Kensal New Town Library, which was then in the borough of Chelsea. Although a long way from Chelsea, the area now called Queen’s Park was administered by Chelsea vestry and known as “Chelsea detached”. The library was intended to serve the residents of the Queen’s Park Estate, which had recently been built to house local workers such as railwaymen, postmen and policemen.

Queen's Park Library decorated for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 Queen’s Park Library decorated for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902

After the creation of the London Metropolitan Boroughs it became the first public library in Paddington on 1 April 1901. For 30 years was the only library provided by Paddington Council, and for over 20 years – until Paddington adopted the Public Libraries Act – only Queen’s Park residents…

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