1896 – Passmore Edwards Free Library, Liskeard, Cornwall


Liskeard Library is an original John Passmore Edwards Library, designed as a purpose-built library for the town of Liskeard in 1896, reflecting the beliefs of a Victorian benefactor and philanthropist that access to knowledge and learning should be available to all.

Passmore Edwards was one of Cornwall’s most famous people. Despite only receiving a basic education went on to become one of the most successful newspaper owners of his time. He was also a political and social reformer, and after a brief spell as the Liberal MP for Salisbury, decided to use his fortune to fund 70 public buildings; hospitals, libraries, schools, convalescent and holiday homes, art galleries and museums. The Passmore Edwards buildings are unique in that they were given to address a common need, an improvement in the poor living conditions that existed for the majority in the late 19th century.