Charles Barry

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Sir Charles Barry FRS (23 May 1795 – 12 May 1860) was an English architect, best known for his role in the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament) in London during the mid-19th century, but also responsible for numerous other buildings and gardens.



Born in Bridge Street, Westminster, he was the son of Walter Edward Barry, a stationer.[1] He was educated at private schools in Homerton and then Aspley Guise,[1] before being apprenticed to Middleton & Bailey,[2] Lambeth surveyors, at the age of 15. Upon the death of his father, Barry inherited a sum of money that allowed him to travel extensively around the Mediterranean and Middle East from 28 June 1817 to August 1820[3], he visited France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine and Syria, then returned through Sicily, Italy and France. His travels in Italy exposed him to Renaissance architecture and in February 1820 in Rome he met an architect, J. L. Wolfe[4] (their friendship continued until Barry died) who inspired him to become an architect' the building that inspired Barry's admiration for Italian architecture was the Palazzo Farnese[5]. He and Mr Wolfe then over the following months studied the architecture of Florence, Vicenza, Venice and Verona together[6].

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