In Praise of Special Libraries

Library signWhen I’m travelling within the UK I tend to look for somewhere historical en-route to break my journey, whether it’s a castle or stately home or ruin or some other interesting place. If there is a tea room and gift shop that’s a bonus. So when I was driving from the east coast of Scotland back to Glasgow a couple of weeks ago I got out the map to help me decide where to stop. The whole area is absolutely packed with castles so it was more a case of trying to whittle it down than find somewhere. Then I spotted an intriguing dot on the map at Innerpeffray, near Crieff in Perthshire. “Historic Library” it said. Well, that was enough to lure me in.

It was a bit of a bleak day when we reached Innerpeffray. The wind was whistling across the fields and the little collection of buildings we approached felt Library building
as though they were all alone in the middle of nowhere. It seemed a curious location for a historic library but that just added to the interest. We scurried inside out of the wind and were met with the warmest welcome in Scotland. What can I say – a personal tour of the oldest free public lending library in Scotland is like my idea of heaven and Innerpeffray is a very special place indeed.

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