Nowell Parr

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Nowell Parr
Thomas Henry Nowell Parr.jpg
Nowell Parr, 1895
Born Thomas Henry Nowell Parr
Handsworth, Staffordshire, England
Died 23 September 1933 (aged 69)
Kingston, Surrey, England
Occupation Architect
Known for Public houses in west London, especially for Fuller's Brewery

Thomas Henry Nowell Parr FRIBA (1864 – 23 September 1933) was a British architect, best known for designing pubs in west London, many of them built as the "house architect" for Fuller's Brewery, as well as buildings in Brentford, where he was surveyor and then architect to the Council from 1894 to 1907.

Early life[edit]

Parr was born in Handsworth, Staffordshire (now Birmingham) in 1864, the eldest child of Thomas Parr and Frances "Fanny" Nowell. In 1890, his career began as an architectural assistant for Walsall Corporation architects' department, for whom he worked until 1894.[1]


Brentford Council[edit]

In 1894, the Brentford Local Board employed Nowell Parr as "Surveyor to the Council", and from 1897 as an architect.[2]

From 1896–1905, Parr was architect for five large buildings in Brentford, of which three survive, Brentford Baths, Brentford Fire Station (1897),[3] and Brentford Library. Brentford Vestry Hall (apparently the finest of these five) was demolished in 1963, and Brentford Enclosed Market in 1982. The Market eventually became a skateboarding rink, and was also used as a backdrop for episodes of The Sweeney, the 1970s British television police drama.[4]

Private practice[edit]

Three Horseshoes, Southall

While still working for Brentford Council, Parr began undertaking work as a pub architect. He worked for both Fuller's Brewery, Chiswick and the Royal Brewery, Brentford.[5]

Parr started to work independently in about 1900, while still employed by Brentford UDC. He later went into partnership with fellow architect A E Kates, and was also joined by his son, John Nowell Parr (died 1975). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1925.[6]

Parr is notable for his frequent use of Royal Doulton glazed tiles for his pub facades, often in bright or unusual colours, such as green and a mottled slate blue at the Beehive (which has a beehive-shaped turret on top) in Brentford in 1907.[5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1891, Parr married Betsey Fennell in Birmingham. They had two children, Marguerite Parr (1894–), and John Nowell Parr (1897–1975), who was also an architect.[6]

Parr lived at 42 Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, London and 52 Kew Bridge Road, Brentford. He died on 23 September 1933.[6]

Notable buildings[edit]

  • Brentford Baths, Clifden Road, Brentford, Grade II listed (1895-96)
  • Brentford Fire Station, Brentford (1897) – now offices
  • Brentford Public Library, Brentford, Grade II listed (1904)
  • Boatmen's Institute, The Butts, Brentford, Grade II listed (1904)
  • The Old Packhorse, public house at Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London, Grade II listed (1905)[7]
  • The Beehive, public house, 227 High Street, Brentford (1907)
  • The Forester, public house, Northfields, Ealing, Grade II listed (1909)
  • The George, public house, 28 Hammersmith Broadway, Hammersmith, Grade II listed (1911)
  • Pottery Arms, public house, Claypond Lane, Brentford (1922)[3]
  • The Duke of Kent, Scotch Common, Ealing, Grade II listed (1929)
  • The Three Horseshoes, public house, Southall, Middlesex[1]
  • The Hole in the Wall, public house, Chiswick
  • The Duke of York, public house, 107 Devonshire Road, Chiswick
  • Devonshire House (formerly the Manor Tavern), public house, Chiswick
  • Waterman's Arms, 1 Ferry Lane, Brentford


There is a block of flats, Nowell Parr Court, at Boston Manor Road, Brentford, Middlesex.


  1. ^ a b "Way Out West: Ealing and Brentford". CAMRA. The Campaign for Real Ale. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Nowell Parr, Architect (1864–1933)". Brentford High Street Project. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Pevsner, Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus (2002). London. ([New ed.] ed.). New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. pp. 383–385. ISBN 978-0300096521. 
  4. ^ "Thomas Henry Nowell Parr, Architect". Layton Collection. Layton Memorial & Museum Trust. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Tile Gazetteer Hounslow". Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Directory of British architects 1834–1914.. London [u.a.]: Continuum. 2001. p. 322. ISBN 978-0826455147.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  7. ^ "THE OLD PACKHORSE PUBLIC HOUSE". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 22 December 2013.