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John Carr of York: Collected Essays

John Carr of York: Collected Essays


This fascinating book is a treasure trove of essays which examine the work of John Carr of York (1723 – 1807), one of the most prolific and significant architects of the eighteenth century. His output of over 400 designs varies from simple gateways to grand schemes.


Carr was highly successful in his day. He had a recognisable style which was sensitive to the latest fashions as they changed through the eighteenth century. His ability to create beautiful buildings and marry this with a practical approach to both the purpose of the building and the budget of his clients, won him many commissions. He was a supporter of the Whig Party as were many of his patrons and he was twice elected Mayor of York. During his lifetime he amassed a sufficient fortune to purchase an estate at Askham Richard to which he retired.


Carr was born in Yorkshire and decided to base himself there, calculating that there was a sufficient client base to last a working lifetime, supported by a rapidly rising prosperity in the northern and adjoining midlands counties. Hence, most of his commissions and patrons were in the North of England.


Carr’s Northern credentials have meant that he has often been overlooked as an architect and his prolific output has defeated many attempts to write a complete study of his work. Although not a comprehensive review of Carr, this book seeks to go some way towards remedying this. These essays reflect a lifetime of meticulous observation by the author, eminent architectural historian, Dr Ivan Hall FSA. He uses his extraordinary visual memory and primary research to create links and parallels

across Carr’s works and those of his contemporaries, showing where he has drawn inspiration from previous architects and pattern books. The book is illustrated by Dr Hall’s photographs and covers overarching themes such as Carr and landscape and Carr and colour, as well as some commissions in more detail, including Harewood and its village, Lytham Hall, Newark Town Hall and the Hospital of San Antonio in Portugal.


The author hopes that the book will facilitate a reassessment of Carr as an architect of national significance.

  • By Ivan Hall, Edited by Kenneth Powell

    Hardback, 234 x 156 mm

    656 pages, approx. 150 colour illus.

    ISBN: 978-1-3999-5915-5

  • About the Authors

    Ivan Hall FSA is a British architectural historian specialising in the architecture of John Carr.

    Kenneth Powell is an architectural critic, historian and consultant.

  • In the press

    Longlisted for the 2024 Berger Prize


    "remarkable new book"—The Telegraph


    "This is a treasure trove of a book... What riches there are here."—The Oldie


    "this publication is suffused with the authority that comes from years of research and is an invaluable contribution to the libraries of future historians"—The New Criterion


    "presents a gazetteer of Carr's work in all its dizzying variety"—Country Life


    "This book is a first class guide to his work ... wholeheartedly recommended"—Yorkshire Philosophical Society

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