I’ve just written another section about John Wolfe Barry’s connections to Sir John Hawkshaw, another eminent Victorian civil engineer, to whom he was apprenticed. Also included is information about his business partnership with Henry Brunel, son of Isambard K Brunel. They would both build Tower Bridge …
I’ve started writing about John Wolfe Barry’s early life which you can read more about here.
The author of this website about Sir John Wolfe Barry is Nick von Behr. I am indebted particularly to research and writing by the late James Sutherland.
I have been populating this website as time permitted until hopefully it is now as complete as I can make it for 22 January 2018, the centenary of John Wolfe Barry’s death.
Originally I wanted to have some kind of commemoration in Westminster Abbey where a window can be found in his honour and his father is interred. I think this is very unlikely to happen. I’m also hoping an English Heritage Blue Plaque may be put up on the house where he died in London, but again this is a slow burner, having applied in December 2015.
Finally, since 2018 is the official UK Year of Engineering and the bicentenary of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the year structural engineer Roma Agrawal is publishing her new book ‘Built’, perhaps other opportunities may arise to get the message out about him to a wider audience.
Sir John Wolfe Barry’s engineering consultancy would eventually through various mergers become part of a larger organisation which built the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest skyscraper.
In 1901 Sir John Wolfe Barry was closely associated with the founding of the precursor to the British Standards Institution which would become famous for its Kitemark. I’ve added some new content about this.
John Wolfe Barry was born the son of Sir Charles Barry, architect of the British Houses of Parliament or the New Palace of Westminster.
For more on how the Old Palace was rebuilt after a terrible fire in the early 19th Century see Caroline Shenton’s website. The story features Augustus Pugin as well as Big Ben.
He built Tower Bridge
This website tells the story of Sir John Wolfe Barry.
Who was he?
He was the civil engineer who built Tower Bridge. He doesn’t get as much credit for this as he perhaps deserves. So the purpose of the site is to tell his story to mark the centenary of his death on 22 January 2018.
If you want quick snapshots then read the blog posts – use the category cloud to help you find things you are interested in e.g. Tower Bridge.
If you want to read the story of JWB (as I call him) then use the top menu for sections of content which all link to each other in the same order.