J Lindsay Grant, 1905. Large 2-storey, asymmetrical plan public library building. Free Renaissance and Scots Baronial. Red sandstone, fine droved ashlar to front, bull-faced to rear, ashlar dressings. Deep, coped base course, cornice at eaves. Architraved margins, stone mullions and transoms, splayed and moulded arrises on principal elevations, lugged and battered cills on ground floor.
E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: main 5-bay block to right, single bay gabled entrance section to centre, octagonal corner tower to left and set back. Main block; centre bay advanced, quoins, 8-light window at ground, carved panel above inscribed 'Public Library' framed by festoons, 2 bays flanking with 4-light windows, keystoned and pedimented heads. 12-light window to centre at 1st floor, bordered by swags, 2 bays flanking with 6-light windows. Pedimented wallhead to centre, carved armorial panel in tympanum. Entrance bay; set back, large round-arch doorpiece, framed by Ionic pilasters supporting dentil cornice and pediment, carving in tympanum representing Burgh Arms, doorpiece slightly advanced in segmentally corniced projection, arch glazed with lead lights and stained glass, 2-leaf panelled and glazed inner doors. 8-light window at 1st floor, blinded and pedimented slit window in gablehead. Corner tower to left; set in re-entrant angle, 2 faces exposed, slit windows at ground, single windows at 1st floor, bordered by swags.
S ELEVATION: 3 gable ends with exposed basement on falling ground to left (W). Bay to right; 4-light window to basement, large 16-light window lighting staircase at ground and 1st floors. Bay to centre; 3-light window to basement and 12-light window at ground floor in canted bay, balustrade. 6-light window at 1st floor, slit window to left, 2 slit windows off-set to right, 3-light window in gable, round-arch panel in gablehead, pedimented at apex. Corbelled round-section tower in re-entrant angle at 1st floor, to left, slit window, lead covered ogee roof. 5-step flight to lugged and architraved doorway in return beneath tower. Bay to left; advanced, splayed corner to right with window at basement and ground floor, window to left lighting stair case, corbelled 1st floor Venetian window to centre.
N ELEVATION: 2 storey gable ended section to left, single storey section to right, set back to extreme right. 2-storey section, 2 4-light windows at ground, small single window to right, 12-light canted window at 1st floor, set in deep moulded architrave, corniced head with brackets and swags, blinded and pedimented slit window in gablehead. 2-bay single storey section to right; bull-faced sandstone, 2 6-light windows with small carved pediments above heads (see Notes). Bay to right; set back, 2 4-light windows.
W ELEVATION: 2-storey section to right advanced, that to left with advanced single storey section, 2-storey section set back forming L-plan. That to right; 2 bipartites and 1 single window in basement, window above, 6-light window to left at ground, 4-light window to centre, corbelled and canted 3-light oriel window to centre at 1st floor and breaking eaves, parapet. Single windows flanking with gable heads breaking eaves. N facing elevation; 1st floor above flat roof, 2 bipartite windows and single window to left at 1st floor, single window in gablehead. Flat-roofed single storey section to left; canted and advanced, stone coped parapet wallhead, 10-light window to centre, 6-light window to right, 8-light window in return to N. 2-storey block set back; 12-light window to centre, small window to right.
Leaded lights to High Street elevations and public rooms, timber sash and case windows to private rooms with 4 and 6-pane upper lights and plate glass lower lights. Graded, grey slate pitched roofs, decorative terracotta ridge tiles, corniced ashlar gablehead stack to SE, breaking pitch to S and on gablehead to NW. Large painted bellcote to centre of E ridge, square decorated base. 4 round-arch louvred openings with keystones, paired Doric corner columns, open pediments, corniced lead domed roof with mast and ball finial. Deep stone skews, scroll skew putts to High Street elevation, stone ball finials to N and above entrance. Lead cap to octagonal tower roof and ornate wrought-iron weather vane. Mast and ball finial to ogee roof of round section tower.
INTERIOR: excellent, largely intact interior, re-furbished circa 1980 with only limited alterations. Hexagonal entrance hall, black and white marble floor. Originally Ladies, Children's, Reading, Reference, Lending and Workrooms on ground floor. Arched colonnade ground floor, timber Ionic pilasters in pitch pine, some arches glazed with glazed doors as access to rooms. Plasterwork and corniced ceilings intact. Part glazed tile walls below dado, green in public rooms, red in hall and staircase. Timber panelled desk. Main staircase; stone steps, ornate heavy oak balustrade, Mosaic floor on 1st floor landing. Timber panelled internal doors, glazed to Recreation Room on 1st floor, barrel vaulted ceiling. Window on staircase with stained glass upper lights depicting the arms of the Burgh, 2 mermaids supported by 2 wreaths of roses, below which are the mottos "The Sea Enriches" and "The Rose Adorns". 1st floor Librarian's flat converted into offices. Arts and crafts style brass window furniture survives.
BOUNDARY WALLS: stone dwarf wall to High Street elevation, coped boundary walls to garden at rear.