William Henry Barlow

You are in: Home > Index > Barlows in England > William Henry Barlow
England | Ireland | Scotland | Canada | Australia/NZ | Other


William Henry Barlow was born in Charlton, London in 1812.

A civil engineer, he worked in several dockyards before he obtained a job as an engineer with a railway line.

After working for six years in Turkey, he returned to England where he worked as assistant engineer to the Manchester and Birmingham Railway.

In 1842 Barlow joined Midland Railway. During his tenure with Midland, he designed and built a rail-line to London. He also designed the main terminal at Saint Pancras. For his much copied terminal, he created an immense, iron and glass vault, that remained the widest span for twenty-five years.

Barlow provided advice for cathedral restoration and publishing several writings dealing with structural problems. He was the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

An engineer whose name became synonymous with the Railway Age, Barlow died in 1902.

Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects, pages 141-142 Volume 1, London: The Free Press, 1982
Contributed to Barlow Clearinghouse by K. Lightenbee March 1999

William Henry Barlow was the son of noted engineer and mathematician, Peter Barlow


©Photo courtesy of Donald Corner & Jenny Young

Saint Pancras Station
London, England, United Kingdom
1864 - 1868

The train shed, by the engineer William Henry Barlow in conjunction with R.M. Ordish, is the largest & most spectacular of the High Victorian period, being a single span of 74 meters/243 feet, rising 30 meters/100 feet high in a slightly pointed wrought-iron arch. The total length is 213 meters/700 feet. At the base, the arched vault is secured by rods 76 milimeters/ 3 inches in diameter under the platforms."

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture pages 1122, 1126

Credit and thanks go to:
More information and photographs about

S. Pancras Station

The Great Buildings Collection
The leading architecture site on the web

The gateway to architecture around the world and across history documents, a thousand buildings, hundreds of leading architects, with 3D models, photographic images & architectural drawings, commentaries, bibliographies, web links, & more, for famous designers & structures of all kinds


Photo and comment contributed by John F. Barlow

Saint Pancras Station was designed by Gilbert Scott.

The main engineer on the project was W. H. Barlow.

Built in 1868 the ribs of the Gothic shaped roof continue in an unbroken line from platform level to the ridge at the top.

It became the main London terminal for the York & Midland Railway.


Contact Chris Barlow if you are interested in posting your Barlows in these pages