Lucraft and Luckraft One-name Study

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Llanelli Public Library (Athenaeum)

By chance a second library article appears in this issue.

In 1850 the Public Libraries Act of Parliament was passed that allowed the people of a parish, however small to levy a rate of one penny in the pound to provide a library building. Not all local authorities took advantage of the new legislation and Llanelli was one of them. This lack of interest was probably because the new Board of Health had enough problems to cope with including, lack of proper sanitation, bad roads, inadequate markets, a poor water supply, the need to light the town, to mention just a few.

During 1854 plans were submitted for a new building to house the proposed new library and three sites were considered by the committee set up to oversee the project. A site adjoining the South Wales Pottery, on land belonging to William Chambers was one of the three sites considered by the committee and the rates were reported to be £20 per acre. The committee reported that plans and drawings had been received from the architect and there was every possibility that the matter would proceed immediately. Funds were raised by public subscription to build a literary, scientific institution, which became known as ‘The Athenaeum’. The original Llanelly Athenaeum Trustees included: Richard Thomas Howell; James Buckley; John Pasley Luckraft; William Thomas and William Henry Nevill.

John Pasley Luckraft was the uncle of Charles Moore Luckraft who is honoured in the oyster shell reported in another article in this newsletter. You can see them both in the Naval Tree in the Luckraft trees on the website.

You can read the full article on the Llanelli website at : _athenaeum.htm


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