Winton's first library was started in 1891 at Winton
Congregational Church. In 1905 a temporary "newsroom"
was set up at 10 The Parade opposite St Luke's Church.
|The original plans
|Opening Day 26 October 1907
|The 1920's - tramlines in the foreground
|How the reading room looked in the 1950's
The current Winton Library was opened in 1907 and
was Bournemouth's first permanent purpose-built library.
Following a failed proposal for a building in Alma
Road, it was constructed on land given by landowner Lord Leven
and paid for largely by the millionaire Scottish-American philanthropist
The winning tender for the new library was from
Miller and Sons who submitted an estimate of £1,833.
The records show:
Mr. William Edgar presented the library with a gift
of four lamps.
Mr. W, Bonifleld provided the library furniture
Mr. J.H. Tett provided the gas fittings for the
Mr. James Gibbons of Wolverhampton designed the
memorial plaque (£12-10s-0d)
Mr. J, Stevens was appointed as Caretaker - at a
salary of £30 per year.
The official opening was on 26 October 1907.
The ceremony was conducted by the Mayor Alderman
J. Parsons who also borrowed the first book - it is recorded as
"Frederick Treves - Highways and Byways of Dorset".
Andrew Camegie had been invited but was unable to
Carnegie libraries were built on the firm moral
principle that reading and education would help people "better
Unlike earlier libraries they had an open shelf
system that allowed people to browse freely.
The best known Winton resident to take advantage
of the concept was Flora Thompson who virtually educated herself
in Winton Library.
She went on to write one of the classics of English
literature. You can read more about her on our Flora
The library was modernised and redecorated in 1926
and extended in 1933.
Forty years later in 1967 there was another major
refurbishment which included new floors and lighting.
In 1972 Winton continued its trailblazing tradition
by becoming the first computerised library in Bournemouth.
Four years later it was declared a Grade 2 listed
There were more refurbishments in 1993 and 2006 - when the library was fitted with a computer suite.