Former student leaves bequest to the University

A graduate of the University has bequeathed the residue of her estate to the University.

Estimated at more than £1 million in value, the bequest was made by Janet Gnosspelius, who studied for a BA in Architecture and later worked with Herbert Rowse, designer of many of the city’s finest buildings, including India Buildings, the Queensway Tunnel and the Philharmonic Hall.

Janet spent her life between Kendal, where she was born, and Liverpool, where her Swedish grandfather, Adolf Gnosspelius, had been a stockbroker in the 19th century. Her father, Oscar, had been a geologist and pioneer aviator, specialising in early floatplanes which he flew from Windermere before the First World War.

Her mother was the sculptor Barbara Collingwood, daughter of WG Collingwood, who was English art critic John Ruskin’s private secretary and was at the centre of one of Lakeland’s most extensive academic and intellectual dynasties. The Gnosspelius and Collingwood families were close to the author Arthur Ransome, and both Janet and her father featured in the Swallows and Amazons series of books.

After her parents died in the 1960s, Janet moved to Woolton where, after her retirement, she became a founder member of the Gateacre Society and was involved with local conservation and history in general.

The terms of the will requests that the donation goes to the Sydney Jones Library.

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