Hello, we are Gail and Lee and we both work here at Coleshill Library! Coleshill is a town in North Warwickshire. It’s famous for being an old Georgian coaching town. Stagecoaches used to run daily to other Warwickshire towns as well as directly to Liverpool and London; many people used Coleshill as a stopping point using one of the 25 pubs which were around at that time.

Coleshill is also known as the birthplace of Typhoo Tea. John Sumner went into the family business and after several visits to China, founded Sumner’s Typhoo Tea Tipps (later to become Typhoo Tea) in 1902. He was the grandson of tea merchant, grocer and druggist William Sumner who owned shops in Birmingham and Coleshill. There is a Sumner Road and Almhouses still to be seen in the town today.

An advertisement from the Coleshill Chronicle 1878 displaying various products that John Sumner was selling in his shop.
A microfiche of this newspaper is kept at Coleshill Library.

Coleshill has had a library since 1698 but back then it was a subscription library. People had to pay a fee to access the library. We have a copy of what the catalogue was like back in 1698 and it is fascinating to look through and see which books were donated and kept. In 1874 the Literary Institute comprising a library and newsroom occupied the room above the Market Hall in Church Hill. We have been based at our current location in Parkfield Road since 2005, before this the library was on the main High Street in Coleshill.

Coleshill Library

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