Charles Barry was born in London on 23rd May 1795. He was apprenticed to a firm of surveyors before training as a architect in Italy (1817-20). Influenced by the architects of the Italian Renaissance, when Barry returned to England he designed the Travellers Club (1832) that had been founded by Lord Castlereagh in 1814.
In 1834 most of the Old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire. Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin were commissioned to design and build a new House of Commons and a House of Lords.
Other buildings designed by Barry include the Athenaeum in Manchester (1836), Trafalgar Square Precinct (1840) and the Cabinet Office (1845). He also designed the new Reform Club, an exclusive gentleman's club formed by leading Whigs to celebrate the passing of the 1832 Reform Act.
Sir Charles Barry died on 12th May 1860.