Chorley Hopkinson Mountaineering Library

The Chorley Hopkinson Mountaineering Library is an outstanding collection of climbing and mountaineering books built up over three generations of the Chorley family beginning in the mid-nineteenth century. Over 700 separate volumes date from 1776-2011, the earliest book being the second English edition of A Relation of a Journey to the Glaciers in the Duchy of Savoy by Marc-Théodore Bourrit. The majority of books were published in the 19th and 20th centuries, both privately and publicly, in Britain, France, Italy, Switzerland, USA and India. Volumes are in English, French and Italian.

There are some beautiful examples of marbling and tooled covers featuring lithographs and etchings, as well many photographs and maps. Several volumes are dedicated to members of the Hopkinson and Chorley families and there are a variety of bookplates with inscriptions, which remind the reader of the personal nature of a family library.

Lord Chorley, who kindly donated the library to Mountain Heritage Trust (MHT), was a former Chairman of the National Trust. The trustees of MHT, in accepting this generous gift, are delighted to be able to fulfil the family’s wish to have it publicly available by having it housed in Allan Bank, thanks to the generosity of the National Trust.

The Mountain Heritage Trust seeks to identify and preserve material which documents Britain’s vibrant climbing and mountaineering history. Second to none in terms of breadth, Britain has a proud legacy in the Alps, the Himalaya and the other great mountain ranges as well as closer to home on British rock. Pioneers in techniques from the earliest days, Britain’s climbers and mountaineers have also led the way in preservation and conservation of traditions, culture and mountain heritage.