A Memoir of the Professional Life of William J. Barre, Esq., Member of the Royal Institute of Architects, Ireland. With photographic illustrations selected from his works. Edited by Durham Dunlop, M.R.I.A., author of “The philosophy of the bath”. Belfast: James Magill, Castle Buildings, Donegall Place, 1868. Small quarto. pp. , 66, , 28 (plates). Title printed in red, green and with a brown border, remainder of pages within a black border decorated at corners, green and maroon decorated initial pieces. Green cloth over bevelled boards. Upper cover framed by triple gilt fillets, ‘W.J.B.’ Autographed letter signed from Charles Brett to a former owner, discussing the author and his works: “I had not realised that he was the author of so many and varied works – especially the Polar Bear’s Picnic at Banbridge,” tipped onto front free endpaper. All edges gilt. A very good copy.
COPAC locates the BL and QUB copies only. WorldCat 1.
William Joseph Barre (1830-1867) was born in Newry, County Down. He was a prolific architect who designed and built many well of the well known buildings in Belfast in the Gothic Revival style. Barre had a colourful history when it came to architectural competitions. By the time he was thirty he had beaten numerous rivals to win the task of designing the Ulster Hall. His design for the Methodist Church on University Road (originally the Wesleyan Church, on what was then Botanic Road) took first place in a competition of 1864, the work being completed the following year. Barre built several other monuments, perhaps the most unusual being that to the Banbridge-born arctic explorer Francis Crozier, featuring polar bears poised on top of flying buttresses. Barre died of tuberculosis at the age of thirty seven, having completed several dozen major buildings, including private houses, schools, factories, and, above all, churches.
The illustrations in this work include some of Barre’s best known designs: Ulster Hall Belfast; Unitarian Church, Newry; Episcopal Church, Rockcorry; Episcopal Church, Bray; Adam Clark Memorial Church, Port Stewart; Presbyterian Church, Belmont, Belfast; The Crozier Memorial, Banbridge; Presbyterian Church, Duncairn, Belfast; The Cathedral, Cork; The Mote, Strandtown, Belfast; Wesleyan Church, Botanic Road, Belfast; Gates, Fortwilliam Park, Belfast; Whitworth Hall, Drogheda; Presbyterian Church, Crossgar; Ferguson Memorial Tomb, Malone Cemetery, Belfast; Roxborough Castle, Albert Memorial Belfast; Clanwilliam House, Malone, Belfast; Episcopal Church, Moy; Episcopal Church, Dungannon; Ophthalmic Hospital, Belfast; Linen Warehouse, Belfast; Barre’s Tomb. The majority of the photographs are of the drawings by Barre, there are eight of the buildings.
The limitation on this work must have been very small as there were only sixty six subscribers. These included: Mrs. Barre, Eccles Street, Dublin; Basil Brooke, Castleblayney; The Earl of Charlemont, Rocksbury Castle; Isaac Corry, Newry; William Fogarty, Architect, Dublin; John Getty, Coleraine; James Magill (the Publisher), etc.