The Portico Library

A dark bookshelf in a library
The Portico Library © Paul Husband

An independent subscription library and exhibition space, The Portico Library first opened its doors in 1806 as a library and newsroom. Housing an exceptional 19th century collection of approx 25,000 books in its Grade II listed building, the library continues to thrive as a hub of cultural activity.

Open six days a week to the public, the Library offers a year-round calendar of exhibitions and events. Open to everybody, entrance to the Gallery area is free and all visitors can enjoy a meal or drink in the cafe too. For a small annual charge, members of the library are able to borrow from the extensive 19th century collection. Previous members include Elizabeth Gaskell, Emmeline Pankhurst, Val McDermid and Eric Cantona and Guy Garvey.

Home to the Portico Prize for Literature, The Portico Prize for Young Writers and The Portico Prize for Poetry. The main entrance to the library is via the green doors on Charlotte Street. Just press the intercom for the door to be opened. If assistance is needed, there is a stair-lift at the Library’s rear entrance on Back George Street which can be accessed by a portable ramp.

10:00 am - 4:00 pm
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Cafe on sité
  • Pay & Display Parking
  • Toilets
  • Audio Tours
  • Wheelchair Accessible

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