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Liverpool Medical Institution



If you are walking along Hope Street or up Mount Pleasant you can not help but notice the fine building that occupies that site next to the new Everyman Theatre, the Liverpool Medical Institution stands on the corner of Mount Pleasant and Hope Street.


Liverpool Medical Institution - Photograph Geoff Roberts


The building opened in 1837 and is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. The Institution’s origins go back to 1779, when it was formed originally as the Liverpool Medical Library by a group of local doctors. The library was associated with the Liverpool Medical Society which was formed in 1833. The two later merged and thus formed the Liverpool Medical Institution. This provided the medical profession with a collection of books and journals. The orthopaedic surgeon, Henry Parle had personally assembled a large collection of medical reference material which was housed in the institution. The institutions founder was Dr John Rutter (1762-1838). Dr Rutter envisioned a centre that would provide not only a meeting place but also somewhere that members of the medical profession could develop their skills. Doctors using the institution could enhance their skills, take examinations and learn new codes of conduct established by professional bodies.




Bowling Green House - 1843
The site was formerly the location of an inn and a bowling green, which was the birthplace of the businessman and amateur scientist William Roscoe. The Liverpool Medical Institution, commissioned Clark Rampling to design the building at a  cost £4,000 (£320,000 as of 2014), and it was opened in 1837. In 1907 the Council Room was remodelled by Edmund Rathbone. The society was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1964. An extension was added to the building in 1966. In 1998 a major refurbishment of the building took place.






The interior of the building has a hall with a curved double staircase, there is a galleried library housing the institution collection and a lecture theatre. The building also houses a museum room and committee rooms. The building also houses a memorial plaque to Doctor Duncan who was the president of the Liverpool Medical Society from 1836 until 1838 and also the secretary of the institution in 1814.
The building is constructed in stone, and presents a curved fa├žade to Mount Pleasant and Hope Street. Its architectural style is Greek Revival. It has 16 bays. The lateral three bays on each side are recessed and is two storey, the rest of the building is single-storey. The central seven bays form a recessed entrance behind six unfluted Ionic columns. Elsewhere the bays are divided by pilasters. The windows are sash windows. Along the top of the building is a cornice. Inside is a central hall, a lecture theatre, a library, a museum, and meeting rooms, all lit from above by glazed domes.




The Institution "exists to foster an environment for furthering medical and health education and knowledge". The present library houses a stock of monographs and journals covering the whole range of medical specialities. It organises lectures and social events, and hosts meetings of the Liverpool Medical History Society, which was founded in 1984. It is a registered charity, and forms part of the University of Liverpool.




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Sources

Liverpool Central Library
Liverpool Records Office
The University Of Liverpool
The Liverpool Medical Institution

Rober F Edwards
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