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31 October 2016


The Sack of Bath by Adam Fergusson helped to stop the destruction and rebuilding of artisan Bath in the 1970s: it was – and is – an important and influential book. When the local  Bath paper, the Bath Chronicle, ran a piece about the fortieth anniversary of the book in 2013 it quoted the update to the preface that Adam Fergusson wrote for us: ‘New threats to Bath’s historic and topographic integrity continue to alarm anyone who remembers how close it came to losing its unique character at the hands of the philistines 40 years ago.’ Saving buildings that should not be demolished is as important to Persephone Books as saving books that should never have gone out of print. This week we focus on the ten buildings that the Victorian Society think are most at risk. Firstly, so sadly and so inevitably, a former library: The Old Library in Stafford is a Grade II listed building that was partially funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and once housed Clement Lindley Wragge’s collection of ethnographic, zoological and geological material. Then it was a public library that was ‘relocated’ in 1999. Now it is for sale or to let – and crumbling.

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