Today Queen’s Park Library celebrates its 125th birthday.
Queen’s Park is Westminster’s oldest library. The purpose-built library first opened its doors on 16 January 1890 as Kensal New Town Library, which was then in the borough of Chelsea. Although a long way from Chelsea, the area now called Queen’s Park was administered by Chelsea vestry and known as “Chelsea detached”. The library was intended to serve the residents of the Queen’s Park Estate, which had recently been built to house local workers such as railwaymen, postmen and policemen.
After the creation of the London Metropolitan Boroughs it became the first public library in Paddington on 1 April 1901. For 30 years was the only library provided by Paddington Council, and for over 20 years – until Paddington adopted the Public Libraries Act – only Queen’s Park residents were allowed to use it and had to pay extra rates for the privilege. It eventually became a Westminster library in 1965 when the boroughs of Paddington and Marylebone joined Westminster to form one larger borough.
Everyone is welcome to join us for some birthday refreshments today, including cake! The library will be celebrating throughout the year with birthday-themed events. Full details will be available on our events page.