Lilybank House


Lilybank House was built in the 1830s for Glasgow merchant, Robert Allan. It was later home to John Blackie, of the publishing house, Blackie & Son, under whose ownership the house was extended by Alexander "Greek" Thomson in the 1860s, with further additions made in the 1890s by John Honeyman & Keppie. The building is part of the Thomson Heritage Trail, and since 2005 has housed the School of Economic & Social History, the Centre for the History of Medicine and the Centre for Business History.

Originally a small Georgian villa with a large walled garden and greenhouses, John Blackie, purchased the house in 1864, when he had architect Alexander "Greek" Thomson add a new wing onto the south end of the villa, and relocated the entrance.

It was converted in 1894 to a Hall of Residence for women attending Queen Margaret College, known as Queen Margaret Hall, with accommodation for 25 students. The architects Honeyman and Keppie altered the interior and added a first floor to the stable wing of Lilybank House in 1894-9 and again 1900.

The University took over the Hall in 1923 and Lilybank House ceased to be a Hall of Residence in 1966. Plans were again drawn up this year for alterations to the House, which on 15 Dec 1970, was listed as a Category A Building under Historic Scotland.

A refurbishment of Lilybank House completed in 2005 by Clark Contracts under architect NSSR McLean uncovered original stenciling and a mural frieze by Alexander "Greek" Thomson, and conservation work was carried out to preserve these original details.

In 2005 the Centre for Business History in Scotland (CBHS), Scotland's first research unit in the discipline inaugurated in 1987, was relocated to Lilybank House under the then Chair of Business History and director Professor Ray Stokes. This centre builds upon a long tradition of pioneering research in business history by the late Professor Sydney Checkland and by Professors Peter Payne and Tony Slaven, the Centre's first director.


Lilybank House
40 Bute Gardens
G12 8RT
Record last updated: 27th Feb 2015

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