Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 89 (2):227-247 (2013)

A quest for information concerning one of the missing room interiors of Wray Castle, a Gothic villa near Windermere in Cumbria, built for a Liverpool surgeon in the 1840s, curiously led the National Trust to the wonderfully contrasting neo-classical Manchester Central Library, designed by E. Vincent Harris and completed in 1934. A trawl through the records revealed a keen donor but a reluctant architect. Sixteenth-and seventeenth-century carved oak panels from the library of Wray Castle were removed and donated for use in the new Central Library by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Sir Robert Noton Barclay, before he gave the castle to the National Trust. Archive material held at Manchester shows that Harris was reluctant to accept the panels, stating his reasons firmly, but that he was prevailed upon to do so and finally incorporated them some years later.
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DOI 10.7227/BJRL.89.2.11
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