1. ITV Report

Secret library unlocks its door to the public

A private members library with its very own 'secret garden' is opening its doors to the public Photo: Bromley House

A private members library with its very own 'secret garden' is opening its doors to the public as part of a nationwide campaign to open up Britain's heritage to the public.

Bromley House Library was founded in 1816 and moved in 1822 to its present home, a dark, red brick building which was built in 1752 as a 'town house' for George Smith grandson of the founder of Smith Bank, the oldest known bank in the country.

The Grade II listed building is divided into a series of reading rooms with a grand staircase and gallery.

At the rear of the library could literally be a work of fiction, a secret garden, surrounded by walls used only by members of the library, it is often referred to as a haven in the city.

In recent years the collection's emphasis has been on biographies, travel books and new novels. Credit: Bromley House

The Library book collection has a good selection of materials of interest to local historians, many topographical works, and a wide selection of 19th and early 20th century novels. In recent years the collection's emphasis has been on biographies, travel books and new novels.

There are approximately 40,000 books in the library. New books are bought regularly and members' requests are considered for purchase.

For more information on the library or becoming a member see here.

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