Vin Beckett

Vin Beckett

Modified & Updated: 04 Feb 2024


The Maughan Library is not only a well-known landmark in London, but also a treasure trove of knowledge and history. Located in the heart of London’s legal district, the Maughan Library is part of King’s College London and is regarded as one of the most impressive neo-Gothic buildings in the city.

With its stunning architecture and extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and archives, the library attracts scholars, researchers, and curious visitors from around the world. But aside from its impressive exterior and vast resources, the Maughan Library holds a wealth of fascinating facts and stories that make it even more intriguing.

In this article, we will explore 12 fascinating facts about the Maughan Library, shedding light on its historical significance, unique features, and little-known anecdotes. So, grab a cup of tea and join us on this journey to discover the hidden wonders of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Table of Contents

The Maughan Library is the main library of King’s College London.

King’s College London is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, and the Maughan Library serves as its principal library.

The library is housed in a magnificent neoclassical building.

The Maughan Library is located in the former Public Record Office, a stunning Grade II listed building designed by architect Sir James Pennethorne. The architectural style is reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman temples.

The library holds over 1.5 million books and journals.

With an extensive collection of academic resources, the Maughan Library offers a vast array of books and journals across various disciplines, making it a treasure trove for students and researchers.

It is home to one of the largest legal collections in the UK.

The library houses an exceptional collection of legal materials, including law reports, statutes, and legal journals, making it a vital resource for law students and legal professionals.

The Maughan Library is known for its impressive reading room.

The Weston Room, the main reading room of the library, is a majestic space adorned with ornate wood paneling and stained glass windows, providing a serene and conducive environment for study and research.

The library offers a range of study facilities and services.

In addition to its extensive book collection and reading rooms, the Maughan Library provides students with access to computer facilities, group study rooms, and specialized research support services.

It is home to several rare and valuable manuscripts.

The library houses numerous rare manuscripts, including medieval illuminated texts, early printed books, and important historical documents, attracting scholars from around the world.

The library has an underground storage facility.

To accommodate its expanding collection, the Maughan Library constructed a state-of-the-art underground storage facility, providing secure and controlled conditions for the preservation of its valuable materials.

It offers breathtaking views of the city from its roof terrace.

The library’s rooftop terrace boasts stunning panoramic views of London’s skyline, allowing visitors to admire iconic landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and the River Thames.

The Maughan Library is named after Sir Deryck Maughan.

Sir Deryck Maughan, an alumnus of King’s College London and a former CEO of Citigroup International, made a generous donation that contributed to the refurbishment and expansion of the library.

The library is widely regarded as a cultural and architectural landmark.

Recognized for its historical significance and architectural beauty, the Maughan Library is considered a cultural treasure and an architectural gem that adds to the charm of London’s vibrant academic landscape.

It hosts various cultural events and exhibitions throughout the year.

The library organizes a range of cultural and educational events, including art exhibitions, lectures, and workshops, enriching the academic experience of both students and the wider community.

These 12 fascinating facts about the Maughan Library emphasize its significance as a hub of knowledge and a place of inspiration within the academic world. From its remarkable architecture to its vast collection of books and manuscripts, the Maughan Library continues to be a cherished institution that embodies the spirit of intellectual exploration and discovery.


The Maughan Library is a truly fascinating architectural gem, rich in history and boasting a wealth of remarkable features. From its stunning neoclassical facade to its vast collection of rare books and manuscripts, this iconic landmark stands as a testament to the enduring value of knowledge and education.

Whether you’re a book lover, history enthusiast, or simply someone in search of a quiet and inspiring place to study, the Maughan Library offers an unparalleled experience. With its grand reading rooms, picturesque courtyards, and cutting-edge facilities, it continues to be a revered institution that is cherished by students, scholars, and visitors alike.

Undoubtedly, the Maughan Library is more than just a place to store books; it is a haven for learning, a repository of knowledge, and a testament to the power of intellectual pursuits. Its enduring allure and contribution to the academic community make it a must-visit destination for anyone appreciative of education, culture, and history.


1. When was the Maughan Library established?

The Maughan Library was established in 1828.

2. How many books are housed in the Maughan Library?

The library boasts a collection of over 2 million books and manuscripts.

3. Can anyone visit the Maughan Library?

Yes, the Maughan Library is open to the public for research purposes, but only students and staff of King’s College London can borrow books.

4. Are there any events or exhibitions held at the Maughan Library?

Yes, the Maughan Library regularly hosts a variety of events, including author readings, lectures, and exhibitions showcasing items from its extensive collection.

5. Is photography allowed inside the Maughan Library?

Photography is generally not permitted in the reading rooms, but visitors can take photos in designated non-reading areas and exhibition spaces.

6. Is there a café or restaurant inside the Maughan Library?

Yes, the library has a café on the ground floor where visitors can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a hot beverage.