News | March 13, 2024

Boston Stump’s Historic Rare Books Library Opens to the Public

The Parish of Boston

The newly-opened library at The Stump

A historic library established in 1634 is now open to residents and visitors to Boston for the first time.

St Botolph’s church - widely known locally as The Stump - has completely refurbished its library, including wall repairs, new décor, UV filters, temperature control, and new bookcases following issues regarding building conditions, temperature, and light.

The Parish of Boston in Lincolnshire, England, is now 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 said: “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."

The library, and additional lighting works, were funded through a £200k government grant via Boston Town Deal. Chair of Boston Town Deal board Neil Kempster said: “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, and the investment in the library renovation and the lighting will enhance the space even more, and will help to bring people in to enjoy St Botolph’s, and the town as a whole."