Edward Ingress Bell was born in 1837 and apprenticed to his father who was a civil engineer. He was in partnership with H V Bacon from 1860 and had extensive experience having worked for George Gilbert Scott and Richard Herbert Carpenter, Rhode Hawkins, William Wilkinson Wardell, William Bonython Moffatt, William and Andrew Moseley, Sir Charles Barry and Joseph Aloysius Hansom. He was admitted ARIBA on 3 December 1866, his proposers being Robert William Edis, Moseley and Thomas Edward Knightley. Circumstance compelled him to retire in 1869, but he was readmitted on 17 February 1873 and became architect to the Crown Agents for the Colonies in 1882. In the early 1880s he joined Aston Webb in partnership.
In 1885 the partnership of Webb & Bell made its name by winning the competition for the Birmingham Law Courts and in 1891 that for the South Kensington Museum; that for Christ’s Hospital in Horsham followed in 1894. These successes brought in their wake a long series of public commissions and further competition successes notably that for the improvement of the Mall in 1901.
Ingress Bell died on 30 August 1914 at St Stephen’s Winchester Road, West Worthing. By that date Webb had taken his son Maurice Everett Webb, born 23 April 1880, into partnership.