This book chronicles the development of Greenbank House from its origins in a rural Toxteth Park in the mid 18th century to the present day. Home to the prominent merchant Rathbone family from 1788 until it was donated by them in 1944 to the University of Liverpool, successive heads and other family members played significant roles in advocacy of the abolition of the slave trade, parliamentary and municipal reform, nurse education and district nursing, higher education, and women’s rights.
Copiously illustrated with plans, engravings, photographs, and a Rathbone family tree, this fascinating book draws on the archives of the Rathbone family to observe the wider political, social, religious and literary relationships they enjoyed, as well as taking into account the observations of visitors, including John Dalton, the eminent chemist, and John James Audubon, the American naturalist and painter. Recollections of alumni and former University staff contribute to the account of Greenbank’s service as an Annex of Derby Hall of Residence, 1947–63, and then as a popular staff-student club, 1963–88. A grade 2* property, over the last five years Greenbank has undergone a major programme of repair and restoration of its distinctive 18th century, Gothic, and Victorian wings, to provide conference, corporate, and student social use accommodation.