Forward & History

 FOREWARD TO THE HAWARDEN INSTITUTE WEBSITE The History of the Institute goes back to 1854 and we value our traditions, but there have been regular updating of facilities, one of the most significant being at the turn of the century when, after a long battle to obtain planning permission, we were able to create a car park. We also undertook a major refurbishment as a result of our own fundraising and also with help from the lottery, reopening in 1999. Now we are going on-line. I am sure that our website will spread the good news of the facilities we offer, and enable users actual and potential to make use of them more easily.                                                   The late   Sir William Gladstone. Bart. K.G.


1854. Founded as the Hawarden Literary and Scientific Institute.

1876. A Reading Room and a new Smoking Room were provided.

1877. Mr. W.E.Gladstone – President.

1883. Right Hon W.E.Gladstone – President.

1893. W.E.Gladstone – Patron.

1893. W.E.Gladstone MP., Rev’d S.E.Gladstone H.Hurlbutt Vice Presidents.

1884. Dogs banned from Reading Room. (But allowed in from 1927)

1889. Reading and Recreation Rooms opened.

1890. Problem of excessive drinking of the Caretaker

1892-1896. Great Fetes and Band Contest held at Hawarden Castle to raise money to pay off debts on the new buildings.

These fates were held to pay off debts on these new buildings. The first fete held on the 23-24th August 1892 raised over £1,400. The second fete on the 14-16th August 1894. Included a display of Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone’s presents. The third fete on the 1-2 September 1896 attracted between 26 and 27,000 visitors. The three functions raised over £2,400 towards clearing the debts and paying furnishing costs.

1893. Opening of the rebuilt Hawarden Institute by Mr. W.E.Gladstone. 22nd May CURRENT BUILDING. The Gymnasium had been built by W.Bailey for £800 and the Institute at a cost of £1,715 17s 4d.

1894. Right Hon. M.J. Gladstone – President.

1896. Letter to the Trustees, Officers and Members of the Institute. The Institute cleared of its burden of debt.

1900. Herbert J.Gladstone MP – President. Herbert had a great zest for sports and games principally cricket, football, tennis and gymnastics, he used the Gymnasium at the Institute.

1914. W.G.C.Gladstone MP – Patron.

1914. Viscount Gladstone – President.

1915. The Institute lost its Patron, Mr. W.G.C.Gladstone (the “Young Squire”) who was killed in action.

1921. The Tennis Courts were constructed from two gardens given by H.N.Gladstone. At the AGM, it was also reported that only just over £16 was made over the previous year.

1924. Permission was given for the introduction of a wireless.

1929. It was reported that 75-80% of the library’s fictional work was out of date.

1930s, the following activities were taking place: Billiards, Table Tennis, Football, Badminton, Whist and Bridge Clubs.

1937. The Lord Gladstone of Hawarden Memorial Cup for Billiards commenced.

 1942. Mr. F.Buckley was appointed Caretaker for the duration at £1 per week.

1950. C.A.Gladstone – Patron

1964. A newly-formed Table Tennis Club was formed in the Institute playing in the East Flintshire League.

1965. The formation of a Chess Club started at the Institute.

1968. The formation of an Institute Camera Club was started.

1975. Sir William Gladstone Bart. K.G. – President.

 1985. Mr. Ken Benbow was the winner of The Lord Gladstone of Hawarden Memorial Cup for Billiards.

1993. A booklet on the history of the Institute was produced by the Clwyd Record Office to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the rebuilding of the Hawarden Institute.

1999. Institute refurbished with the aid of a National Lottery Grant. Official re-opening of the refurbished Institute by: Sir William Gladstone. Bart. K.G. 6th September.

2004. Fragments of Institute Pottery found in Institute Car Park. Pottery dated 1854. The 150th Anniversary of the Institute Celebrated by an Exhibition.

2005. The refurbished Institute Lamp positioned in the entrance hall.

2009. The Hawarden Institute Camera Club staged an event at the Institute to Celebrate Hawarden in the 21st Century with “A Gladstone Legacy”

2011. The Hawarden Institute Camera Club changed it’s name to:-                The  Hawarden Photographic Society meeting at the Institute.

2014. The Hawarden Singers have been Celebrating their 60th Anniversary since their formation.

Also The Hawarden Table Tennis Club has been playing in the Institute for       51 Years in the East Flintshire Table Tennis League.

2018. Mrs. Victoria  Merison – President  

2018. Celebrating 50 years of Photography at the Hawarden Institute.

2019.  Free WiFi available.


The above information extracted from the booklet: – “The History of Hawarden Institute” published by the Hawarden Records Office and Compiled by Mr. Geoffrey Veysey. County Archivist, Clwyd County Council and Published by Clwyd Record Office.1993. Other information extracted from the Institute Minute Books and local knowledge.