The Hurd Library, founded in 1782 by Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester from 1781-1808, at Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire, is open by appointment to students and scholars by kind permission of the Bishop of Worcester and the Church Commissioners.

This magnificent and nationally important library is a unique example of a working library, formed by an 18th century Anglican bishop of wide interests, still on its original shelves in the room built for it. It holds some 5,000 volumes on extremely varied subjects, ranging in date from 1476 to the early 19th century, and includes over 40 volumes from the library of Alexander Pope.

Enquiries about the library or applications to consult it may be made by email to or to the Hurd Librarian: Christine Penney or 01789 266422. See also the Hurd Library blog:

In October 2014 the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust was awarded £5m by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This enabled it to purchase the castle from the Church Commissioners. The Hurd Library is on loan to the Trust for 25 years.
For more information please see the Trust website: