South Bank London

Lambeth Palace Library

A treasure trove of astonishing ancient manuscripts dating back to medieval times.

Opening Hours

Reading room: Mon, Wed, Fri 10am–5:30pm, Tue 11am–5:30pm, Thu 10am–7pm. First Sat of ever month open 10am–5:30pm

Public exhibitions: Mon–Fri 9.30am–5pm and on first Sat of every month

Contact Info

Lambeth Palace Library, Lambeth Palace Road, London, UK
+44 207 898 1400

The Lambeth Palace Library was originally founded in 1610 and is the home of the national library and archive of the Church of England, which also includes a vast collection of historic books, manuscripts and other documents collected by the Archbishops of Canterbury.

The astonishing collection includes some of the oldest printed books in the world, as well as ancient illuminated manuscripts that date back to the 9th Century, and the library has its own on-site department devoted to restoring and preserving ancient books.

Inside the building, visitors can find an exhibition space where highlights from the collection are displayed in regularly changing exhibitions. There is also a public Reading Room where people can request to see ancient manuscripts from the archives.

In addition to Lambeth Palace Library's fascinating exhibitions, look out for their regular programme of free public lectures, usually held at least once a month at the building's impressive rooftop function hall.

Check out the library's Instagram page for a glimpse of some of the astonishing items in their collection.

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