The Literary and Philosophical Institution, designed by local architect, Mr. John Welch, was built at the same time as the Winckley Club, which it adjoined. It was formally opened on the 9th of December 1846 and contained a Newsroom, Billiard and Chess Rooms, Collegiate Hall, Library and Museum. It was a long-established competitor of The Institute for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. At first it flourished considerably; many important lectures, always well attended, were given there. But, sadly, its fortunes declined and, in 1868, the building with its contents was sold to the Corporation of Preston and became known as Dr. Shepherd's Library and Museum. It
housed the wonderful collection of books, which had been left to the town in 1761 by Dr. Richard Shepherd. In 1895 this was transferred to the Reference Library at the Harris Museum where it remains to the present day.