Archaeology out there - Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters

James Reckitt library

Proposed plans

The Council for British Archaeology has responded to a proposal for the conversion and re-use of the James Reckitt library in the city of Hull. The plans, if approved, would see flats inserted within the original library building and a new extension to house additional flats.

James Reckitt library pointed-arched entrance

CBA response

The proposed re-use of the library has been welcomed by the CBA as the building has been vacant and out of use since 2006. In addition, the design of the new build extension has been accepted, as it responds well to the scale, materials and colour palette of the listed building.

However, the CBA has outlined some limitations of the application, as the integration of numerous flats could harm the original fixtures and fittings within the building. This includes the columned archways, timber ceiling braces, original library shelving cabinets and the original lending desk. The CBA has urged for the protection of these features which contribute to the historic character of the building.

Building interior depicting timber lending desk

Importance of the James Reckitt library

The Grade II listed library is both architecturally and historically important to Hull. It was established in 1889 by local philanthropist, James Reckitt who played a significant role in petitioning free public library access within the city during the 1860s. The building is constructed from iconic Victorian red brick with chimney stacks and ashlar dressings, characteristic of the Gothic Revival style.

Building exterior depicting front facade of James Reckitt library
Share this
Back to top

Speak up for archaeology now!

Join the CBA