The Heritage Volunteer Project in the Cranston Library

The Cranston Library is located in Reigate’s Parish Church, St Mary Magdalene.  It was founded in 1701 by the Vicar of Reigate, The Revd Andrew Cranston, and the collection has survived largely intact in the room he chose to house it.  The library is one of the most important surviving parish libraries in England, and can claim to be a forerunner of the public libraries we know today. 

The Arts Society Reigate currently supports a team of Heritage Volunteers who work in the library on a programme agreed with the library’s trustees.  Our association with the library dates back more than 20 years.  The project team currently active, having cleaned and checked all the books, is now engaged in examining them for provenance and use evidence, finding all the additions and notes that readers and owners have added over the years.

We are an enthusiastic team, and we meet four times a month, on Thursday mornings and Tuesday afternoons.  All volunteers are supported by The Arts Society with training and insurance.  We are currently not taking on any more new volunteers, but are very happy to receive expressions of interest and will get in touch when we can fit more people in. 

Also, any member, old or new, is very welcome to visit the project, find out about the library and see what we do.  As dates are not regular, book a visit with Hilary Ely or Dinah Harris, who lead the Thursday and Tuesday sessions respectively.