Gladstone’s Living Heritage Project

Gladstone’s Living Heritage is a fundraising programme launched by Gladstone’s Library. Our aim is to secure the funding necessary to sensitively develop our Grade I listed building and ensure its facilities are better suited to its growing visitor numbers.

Over the years the Library has built upon the Gladstonian legacy to create a collection and programme of activities that reflect William Gladstone’s deep engagement with questions of history, politics, religion and culture. Today, we enjoy a substantial regional following, a strong national reputation and a growing number of supporters around the world who know that there is nowhere else quite like Gladstone’s Library.

We are developing the Library in order to promote wider engagement with the liberal values that lie at the heart of Gladstone’s life and work and ensure that they continue to play a purposeful role in Britain and beyond.

To do so, we need to create a new space complementary to, but quite different from, our Victorian library building. This will be the Forum, a flexible, contemporary space that will enable us to better deliver our programmes of debates, lectures and events. Using digital technology, we will also be able to amplify their reach.

Our aim is also to create a visitor experience that will engage and inspire a broader range of audiences, especially younger people, school children and cultural tourists. Creating an impressive new exhibition space dedicated to Gladstone’s values and ideas will be one of the ways in which we will do this.

Above all else, we wish to popularise – but in no way trivialise – the political, spiritual and cultural values that define the man and his heritage.

What we need new funding to achieve:

  • Increase physical and digital access to the collections and archive
  • Create an exhibition on Gladstone’s Living Heritage that dramatizes his life, work and influence today
  • Expand our programme of lectures, courses and events
  • Enhance the visitor experience for children, young people, adult learners, tourists and researchers alike.

These planned improvements will happen by:

  • Remodelling and repairing the existing Grade I listed building
  • Building a prestigious new Forum and exhibition area, an exemplar of sustainable design
  • Providing new visitor facilities including restaurant and café, workspaces, reception area, shop, car park and garden.
  • Continuing to develop the programme of events and collection in a way that reflects Gladstone’s core interest and values.

To view the overall site plan please click here.

If you feel that you would like to make a donation to the project, please click here and select 'GLH' from the Category dropdown menu.

If you would like to find out more about the project and / or feel you are able to support it in any way please do get in touch by emailing glh@gladlib.org or calling 01244 532350. 

We would love to hear your comments, feedback and suggestions. Please let us know what you think here, and remember to let us know your age and whether you have visited us before!