Henry Saxon Snell, the son of George Blagrave Snell, lived and practised in London, England. Between 1878 and 1891, he was in partnership with his sons, Harry Saxon Snell and Alfred Saxon Snell, under the name of H. Saxon Snell and Son. After the partnership was dissolved in 1891, he returned to independent practise for five years before retiring.
Saxon Snell apprenticed in the office of Sir James Pennethorne, afterwards becoming assistant to Sir Joseph Paxton and then to Sir William Tite. In 1851, he was the recipient of the Royal Academy Silver Medal for his measured drawings of the steeple of St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside. About 1866, he obtained his first important appointment as architect to the St. Marylebone Board of Guardians. Among the many projects he carried out for the board was the reconstruction of the Marylebone Workhouse.
In Canada, Saxon Snell was the architect for the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal and the Forres Hospital, New Brunswick. His projects in Britain include the Boys’ School for the Royal Patriotic Fund, Wandsworth; the Convalescent Home for Children, Norbiton; the Holborn Union Infirmary, Highgate Hill, St. Olave’s, Tooley Street, Union Infirmary; the Hospital for the Sick Poor, and Nurses’ Home, Rackham-street; and the Outpatients’ Department and Nurses’ Home and Dispensary, Royal Victoria Hospital for Children, Tite Street.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1871, and became a member of the Architectural Association in 1850, being one of its two oldest members. Among his publications are Charitable and Parochial Institutions (London: B.T. Batsford, 1881) and Hospital Construction an Management (London: Churchill, 1883), the latter written in conjunction with Dr. F. J. Mouatt.