Eli Cox green plaque in Milnthorpe

THE INSTITUTE. Originally called the Kitching Memorial Reading Rooms, the Institute was provided at a cost of £2,000 in 1881 by Mrs Elizabeth Bindloss to commemorate her brother Dr John Kitching, a distinguished London Surgeon, who had been born in Milnthorpe. Designed by Eli Cox it was adorned with elaborate internal plasterwork, barley sugar twisted drainpipe and the busts of Shakespeare and Milton on either side of the entrance. The accommodation included a library, magistrate's court, chess and billiards rooms. In 1921 the property was purchased from the Bindloss family by a village committee for use as a 'Working Men's Institute'. When membership declined the property was converted into flats in 2007. Inset in the rear wall is Milnthorpe's oldest date-stone inscribed C R A 1691 rescued from a previous building on this site.
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