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Public invited to see 'one of Boston's best kept secrets' for the first time

A historic library collection dating back as far as 1170 is to welcome public viewings for the first time

Residents and visitors to Boston are being offered the chance to view a historic book collection as The Stump’s library opens its doors to the public for the first time.

Established in 1634, the library has recently undergone a complete refurbishment, made possible by Town Deal Funding, to secure its future.

Works, which have included wall repairs, new décor, UV filters, temperature control, and new bookcases, mean the historically-important book collection can be retained at the church for future generations.

A spokesperson for Boston Town Deal said: “The refurbishment of the library was identified as a priority after the building conditions, temperature, and light posed a risk to the preservation of this collection in recent years.

“Now, with the works complete, the Parish of Boston is running public tours of the library where visitors will be able to see the collection that includes early editions of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by Boston-born John Foxe.”

Chris Ladner, Reader and Parish Resource Officer for St Botolph’s commented: “St Botolph’s library is one of Boston’s best kept secrets, hosting a unique collection of books that includes a copy of St Augustine’s Work on Genesis which is over 850 years old. Before the improvements, the conditions in the library meant that the books were at risk of decaying, which is why we were never able to invite the public into this space.

“Now, however, I’m thrilled that we can open the collection up to the public, and invite both local residents, and visitors from the UK and around the world to come in and see these amazing books.”

The improvements to the library are being complemented by the installation of a lighting scheme internally, and also provide new external lighting of the whole building – which will enable the Stump tower to be lit up in different colours to mark special occasions and causes.

The library and lighting works have received £200k in funding through Boston Town Deal (BTD)

Chair of BTD board Neil Kempster commented: “The refurbishment of the library has been transformational. The improved building conditions mean that we can guarantee the future of this incredible book collection in the town, and allow people to be able to visit and experience this impressive and important space and collection. The Stump is Boston’s historical centrepiece, an iconic building of which people are rightfully proud.

“The Town Deal funding has been utilised to enhance one of the most iconic heritage assets within the town and to specifically contribute to its tourism offer through public access to its nationally significant library. I would encourage people to take the opportunity to visit the Stump’s library if you can, and experience its heritage first-hand.”

Anyone - including schools and community groups - wishing to take part in a tour of St Botolph’s Library can get in touch with the team to book their place by emailing [email protected] or calling the Parish Office via (01205) 310929.

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