Your Onchan


The library is used for displays and events throughout the year by the local community. Please contact us if you, or your local club or society would like to make arrangements.

Onchan Library The Harvey Briggs Onchan Library is a friendly and welcoming place for book lovers of all ages. New books are added to their stock on a regular basis, and your suggestions for new titles are appreciated.

Library staff are happy to help you find what you are looking for, or make recommendations for a good read.

The Library offers Internet and Wi-Fi amongst the library services, and have regular displays and events going on throughout the year.

For further information, please see: Onchan Library

The History of Onchan Library

Bishop Wilson founded Libraries in every parish on the Island, and an act of Tynwald in 1732 made clergy responsible for the care and cataloguing of the books. There was a total stock of 41 books for Onchan, but one book was recorded as being missing in the Parish Register for 1799 - 'lost in ye carriage from Bishop's Court'.

The first lending library for Onchan came in 1944, proposed by Onchan Commissioner, Mr J H Nicholls. Members of Mr Nicholl's family still use the library today. Onchan Library started life from the Commissioners' offices in Hawthorn Villa with donated books, and books on loan from The Rural Library. An £18.00 donation from The Petty Officer's Mess at HMS St George bought 360 books in those days, and there were gifts from The Military Hospital based at The Majestic Hotel as well.

His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor and his wife, the Countess Granville officially opened the new Onchan Library. He said that the library would be a help to the people of the district, and he hoped it would become still larger.

The library outgrew Hawthorn House in 1969, and moved next door to Hebron Hall. By April 1982, the library had moved again to more spacious new premises in Beech House. A purpose-designed library was later built on the site of Willow Cottage, and the library moved to Willow House. Willow House was designed by Kay & Gill architects of Douglas and officially opened on 17 March 1989 by Mr Maurice Fargher JP, Chairman of Onchan District Commissioners

The Library is proudly celebrating its 70th Anniversary in 2014.  Onchan Library's book tree logo reflects how the library has grown over the years, with its roots in the community.  The tree theme also forms a link with Hawthorn Villa, Beech House, and our current home in Willow House.

The Library was renamed on the 30th April 2015 to honour former Captain of the Parish and benefactor of Onchan, Mr Harvey Moss Briggs.  

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