Chetham’s library is, for the first time, opening its doors for those who wish to explore its stone passages, secret staircases and richly panelled rooms in an intimate, unscripted and exclusive self guided tour. Free yourself from the time pressures of a guide and explore this historic building on your own terms. As dusk falls over the city centre, just before the evening begins, you will enter the library to find twinkling fairy lights illuminating your path through the medieval rooms. Let yourself be transported into a different time and away from the clutter and cold of the city centre in winter. As you move around the space noise will be kept to a minimum, and visitors are politely asked to participate in this moment of quietness. It will allow the building’s character to take centre stage and is a perfectly serene setting to explore some of the staircases, stone passages and cobbled courtyards which usually aren’t open to the public.
Throughout the building ‘incidents’ will be taking place. These are a collection of transformed spaces and things for you to discover as to guide yourself through the centuries old corridors, including illuminated corners, unusual objects and artefacts which are rarely seen by the public. You’ll also have the chance to read some of the books in the Chetham’s Library’s collection, as the oldest public library in the English speaking world you can imagine the treasure trove of manuscripts and books it contains. Once you’ve explored, discovered and enjoyed the library’s atmosphere the tour finishes in the beautiful Baronial Hall with a glass of wine and an informal chat with staff and curators. To make this experience feel intimate and unique, spaces for each tour are limited, so be sure to book in advanced. The library is hosting a tour every month for the duration of winter, so don’t worry if you miss out this time, there will be more to come including a valentines special in February.