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  Themes Homepage > Kedermister Library
 
Bricks & Mortar
Kedermister Library

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Kedermister Library at St. Mary's Church, Langley Marish, was established by Sir John Kedermister in the early 1600s for the benefit of vicars of Langley Marish. 300 theological books are still housed in the ornately decorated room.

 
Sir John Kedermister, Langley Marish. About 1980
Sir John Kedermister, Langley Marish. About 1980

From the 16th century several generations of Kedermisters acted for the Crown as Keepers of Langley Park. In 1607 John Kedermister succeeded his father as Keeper of Langley Park, and was knighted in 1609. Sir John Kedermister was responsible for improving St. Mary's over twenty years. The old bell tower was replaced, 4 almshouses were built and a south aisle was built on to St. Mary's Church, which included a library

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The library was stocked with early printed books, mostly published between 1610 and 1637. Mary Kedermister, who survived her husband by 6 years, continued to purchase books after her husband died in 1631. The Missale Romanum, published in 1485, is the oldest book in the current collection. The library's most valuable manuscript, the 11th century illuminated Gospels, was loaned to the British Library in 1932.

 
Following the death of Mary Kedermister, control of the family estate moved to Sir John Parson. A trust was set up in 1649 for the management of the almshouses, family vault and library, but it was very difficult for the residents of the almshouses and lord of the manor to care for the books. A new groups of trustees was established by the Charity Commission in 1911, and Langley Park was acquired by Buckinghamshire County Council in 1945, who now owns Kedermister Library. Kedermister Cottages, St Mary's Road, June 2004
Kedermister Cottages, St Mary's Road, June 2004
 
Kedermister Library, Langley Marish. About 1980 The Langley Gospel, Langley Marish. About 1980 Kedermister Pew, Langley Marish. About 1980
Kedermister Library, Langley Marish. About 1980 The Langley Gospel, Langley Marish. About 1980 Kedermister Pew, Langley Marish. About 1980

The books are conserved and made accessible to the public by the Kedermister Library Trustees, who include two County Councillors, a nominee of the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society and the Rector of St. Mary's, Langley. More information about the history of Kedermister Library can be found on the web site of The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/archives.

 
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Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies
www.buckscc.gov.uk/archives
 
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