Engineering & Architectural History

This theme is revealing useful contextual knowledge for those (who will be) involved in designing and building structures. It includes research on the Barry family's architectural and engineering talents, Sir John Wolfe Barry’s leadership positions in the Victorian and Edwardian engineering and associated sectors, and his close working relationship with Henry, son of the great British engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

There are three main themes to my research on Sir John Wolfe Barry. I've developed a separate website about him in time for 22 January 2018, which wasa century after his death.

Science, Innovation and Technical History

This theme is a vital part of the story of the UK and how its economy has developed since the Industrial Revolution set it on a new path. Sir John Wolfe Barry was a fellow of the Royal Society, the UK’s national science academy founded in 1660, a privilege shared with Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. He helped establish and sustain the National Physical Laboratory (builder of the first atomic clock) and chaired the Engineering Standards Committee which invented the Kitemark and led to establishment of the British Standards Institution.

Infrastructure and Skills Legacy

Sir John Wolfe Barry built Tower Bridge with Henry Brunel, completed the Circle Line on what is now London Underground, built Cannon Street, Blackfriars and Charing Cross railway stations and bridges for his mentor Sir John Hawkshaw, and constructed major docks at Avonmouth, Barry and Immingham, the first in partnership with Sir Benjamin Baker. His engineering consultancy became part of the modern day multinational Arcadis Group. His engineering pupils included Sir Alexander Gibb, Rustat Blake, Leopold Savile, Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen and Reginald Maudslay. His involvement with the City and Guilds Institute led to the foundation of Imperial College London.

Video of Falls of Lora next to Connel Bridge in Scotland (John Wolfe Barry, 1903)