County Library at Ruislip


    THAT a timbered barn, reputed to be of medieval age, used in olden days for the storage of corn and later for haybinders' work and general farm products, might be saved by its own appeal through adaptation for the needs of a public county library is a consideration which might well enter the minds of educational authorities in those rapidly expanding rural areas where sites are valued at exorbitant rates of purchase. On November 2, Prof. J. H. Clapham, vice-provost of King's College, Cambridge, performed the ceremony of opening at Ruislip, Middlesex, the "Little Barn" (so called for generations) appertaining to the ancient Manor of Ruislip, and now being used as a county library. The homestead of the farm, it should be said, originally constituted, with the acres around, but a fraction indeed of the extensive tracts owned formerly at Ruislip by King's College, Cambridge, the gift of its founder, Henry VI. Not long ago, the College conveyed the farm and surrounds to the people of Ruislip as a gift. Hence the presence of Prof. Clapham was specially opportune and relevant to the occasion. The requisite funds for the adaptation and library furnishing equipment of the barn for its new purposes were provided by the Middlesex County Council, supported by the unwearied efforts of the Middlesex Education Committee. It is of interest to record that Mr. T. E. James, formerly clerk to the Royal Society, who lives at Ruislip, has been appointed by the Middlesex County Council as a representative on the Ruislip-Northwood Local Library Committee.

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    County Library at Ruislip. Nature 140, 842–843 (1937).

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