William J. Barre (1830-1867)

William Joseph Barre was a prolific Irish architect who built many well known buildings in Belfast and the northern part of Ireland in a Gothic Revival style, but was always overshadowed by his great rival, Charles Lanyon.

Barre’s best known work is the Albert Memorial Clock, in the centre of Belfast, built 1865-1870. Barre had a colourful history when it came to architectural competitions. By the time he was thirty he had beaten numerous rivals to win the task of designing the Ulster Hall. His design for the Methodist Church on University Road (originally the Wesleyan Church, on what was then Botanic Road) took first place in a competition of 1864, the work being completed the following year.