Priaulx Library

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Priaulx Library today

Priaulx Library is the home of local and family history research in Guernsey. It is based in Candie Road, St Peter Port, and was formerly the house of Osmond De Beauvoir Priaulx. Priaulx donated his book collection and house to the island, and this formed the basis for the Priaulx Library.

Contents

History

Originally known as Candie House, the house was built in 1780 by Peter Mourant, a horticulturalist. The property had for gardens the area now known as Candie Gardens.

The house passed into the Priaulx family, and was first owned by Joshua Priaulx. Joshua sold it to his brother Osmond De Beauvoir Priaulx in 1859. Osmond, who lived in London, leased it out. During this time, it was leased by Sir Peter Stafford Carey, Bailiff. In 1869, Priaulx presented the entire property to the States of Guernsey to create a public library, with the proviso that the Bailiff could remain there for the rest of his life.

When Carey died in 1886, work began to turn the building into a public library. The library was opened to the public on 1 May 1889.

Local and Family History

In the late 1980s, under the chief librarian Harry Tomlinson, work began to focus the library on Channel Islands history, in order to avoid duplication with the Guille-Alles Library. It has now become the centre for local and family history research, with a substantial collection of ancient records and microfilm, many unavailable elsewhere.

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