Earlston House was originally a Manor house belonging to John Penkett and his family. It was left to him by his father, William Penkett. He was A Liverpool merchant and used the house as a Summer retreat. Later he preferred to live near the river so the Manor House was renammed "Rose Mount" and a new Manor House was built called "Sea Bank".
When John Penkett died in 1838 the house was passed on to his daughter, Mary-Ann, who then married John Maddock. In the 1850's the house was renamed "Earlson House". Mary-Ann donated the land around Earlston House to the local board who turned the land into Rake Lane Cementary.
After her death in 1898 the House was bought by the local board.
In 1898 the Local Authority decided to have a Public Library under the Libraries Act. Four reading rooms were opened in 1899 in Poulton Hall, Earlston House, Brighton Street and in the Workmens Hall in Wallasey Village.
In the early 20th Century a Scottish-American millionaire, Andrew Carneige donated £9,000 for the building of a new library next to Earlston House. On 30th September 1911 the new Reference Library was opened.