The Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle (known as the Lit & Phil) is the largest independent library outside of London housed in a beautiful Greek Revival building based on a Greek temple of the Doric order. The library opened in 1825 designed and built by John Green.
The Society’s collection of paintings dates from its formation and has been donated or commissioned by the Society and its circle of patrons and members, a number of whom are depicted within the collection.
The collection is all on view, but you need to seek out the artworks amongst the books; viewing the collection means embarking on a voyage of discovery throughout this fabulous library. The Society’s greatest work is undoubtedly 'The Building of the New Castle, 1080' by William Bell Scott. This large canvas depicts Scott’s somewhat romantic depiction of the building of the Castle that gave the City its name in 1080. To that extent, the painting deserves to be viewed by a far greater public than presently know of it.
Not all locations are open to the public. Please contact the gallery or collection for more information.