The Graduate School

Lynn Building History

A wide-angle view of the upstairs in the Graduate School

The architect

Featuring an impressive open and galleried interior, the Lynn Building was designed by William Henry Lynn as the University's library.

Lynn (1829-1915) was an Irish-born architect with a practice in Belfast and the north of England. He is noted for his Ruskinian Venetian Gothic public buildings, which include Chester Town Hall (completed 1869) and Barrow-in-Furness Town Hall (completed 1886).

exterior view of the graduate school including grotesques

Building expansion and reopening

The Lynn building was extended between 1912 and 1914 as the need for additional study space for staff and students grew

Further alterations were carried out in the 1950s and 1980s, including in 1952, when the upstairs reading room was divided by a floor at the level of the galleries. The building reopened as the Graduate School in April 2015 following an extensive programme of renovation and refurbishment.

Did you know?

Until the Second World War, the Lynn Building's reading room was heated by a large fire which burned in an open grate beneath the great west window.

Ulster history circle plaque commemorating the poet, Philip Larkin, on the exterior wall of the Graduate School

Dedication to Philip Larkin

The Lynn building bears a blue plaque dedicated to one of the great poets of the twentieth century, Philip Larkin

Larkin worked there as Sub-Librarian at Queen's from 1950 to 1955. Larkin described the building as resembling “a large church designed by an ecclesiastical architect”.