Harry Drinkwater

Harry Drinkwater
Born (1844-03-17)17 March 1844
Warwick, Warwickshire
Died 13 October 1895(1895-10-13) (aged 51)
Wokingham, Berkshire
Nationality British
Occupation Architect
Buildings New Theatre, Oxford
St Margaret's church, Oxford
St Augustine's church, Dudley
Projects The Lion Brewery, Oxford

Harry George Walter Drinkwater (1884–95) was an architect who practised in Oxford.


Drinkwater was born in Warwick on 17 March 1844, the son of George Drinkwater, a coachman, and his wife Eliza. At the time of the 1851 Census the family was still living in Warwick, but by 1860 they had moved to Oxford and George had become landlord of the George Inn, 33 Cornmarket Street.[1]

In 1878 Drinkwater got married to Rose Carr at St Mark's parish church, Maida Vale, London. They made their home at 1 Farndon Road, North Oxford. Rose bore him two daughters and a son: Grace in 1879, George in 1880 and Ruth in 1883. George attended SS Philip and James Boys' School in Leckford Road, which Drinkwater designed and which was built in 1879.[1]

Drinkwater became a Freemason, joining the Alfred Lodge (340). He was appointed Junior Deacon in 1881, Worshipful Master and Provincial Grand Senior Warden in 1885. He was also initiated into the Royal Arch Chapter and the Knights Templar, and was made a Worshipful Master of the Royal Mark Master Masons.[1]

In 1895 Drinkwater fell ill and went on a visit to Wokingham, Berkshire in the hope that it would improve his health. He died at Wokingham on Sunday 13 October, and his funeral was held in Oxford on Wednesday 16 October and he is buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery, Oxford.[1]

Drinkwater's widow Rose and their three children survived him. Their son George followed his father into architecture and also became a painter. Rose died in 1926 at her home at 67A St Giles', Oxford, and is buried with her husband in St Sepulchre's Cemetery. Their nephew John Drinkwater became a poet and playwright.[1]


St Augustine's parish church, Dudley

Drinkwater was a pupil of William CC Bramwell in Oxford 1860–65 and then assistant to the Gothic Revival architect GE Street 1865–73.[2] After a year as a travelling student and recipient of the Royal Academy travelling prize,[1] Drinkwater began independent practice in Oxford.[2] Drinkwater was made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1882.[2] Drinkwater followed Street into designing and restoring Church of England churches and designing vicarages, but also undertook a number of commissions for Hanley's,[3] Morrell's[3][4] and Weaving's breweries.[3]

Drinkwater's brother Albert was involved in the New Theatre, Oxford. In 1885 Drinkwater bought shares in the Oxford Theatre Company. The New Theatre was demolished and in 1886 was rebuilt to Drinkwater's designs. (It was demolished and rebuilt again in 1933.)


The Grapes pub, George Street, Oxford


Cape of Good Hope pub, The Plain, Oxford
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Harry George Walter DRINKWATER (1844–1895)". St Sepulchre's Cemetery. Friends of St Sepulchre's Cemetery. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 Brodie et al. 2001, p. 562.
  3. 1 2 3 Woolley 2010, p. 83.
  4. 1 2 Tyack 1998, p. 269.
  5. Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 334.
  6. 1 2 Woolley 2010, p. 79.
  7. Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 293.
  8. Pevsner 1974, p. 121.
  9. Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 426.
  10. Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, pp. 321–322.
  11. Pevsner 1966, pp. 93–94.
  12. Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 600.
  13. Woolley 2010, p. 88.


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