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Carr 300


To celebrate the 300th birthday of York’s most famous architect, John Carr (1723-1807), we’re launching Carr 300 with York Civic Trust. As part of Carr 300 we’re creating a virtual map of all Carr’s past and present creations, showing the breadth of his influence across Yorkshire and beyond.


But we’d also like you to help us celebrate his works. Do you have memories of visiting any of the buildings designed by Carr - including those that have sadly been demolished? Have you taken any great photos or made a drawing or even written a poem about one of Carr's buildings? Do you know of any places designed by Carr that aren’t on the map? We want to hear from you – click the link below to get involved!  

Just as John Carr drew upon the best of Ancient Classical design to create bold and brilliant new buildings in the eighteenth century, it's only right for us to also look forwards and to our modern buildings when we celebrate Carr.  We want you to be eagle-eyed and spot the best examples of modern neo-classicism within twentieth and early-twentieth-century design in York, to take photos and sketches of them which we can use to build up a digital collage on this website. It will act as celebration of Carr's impact and legacy in his home city. Check out the photos already sent to us below to get a feel what Carr's design motifs are in a modern form! 






“No other figure gives us a fuller flavour of the world of eighteenth-century English architecture.”


                                                            Brian Wragg, The Life and Works of John Carr of York


Who was John Carr?


John Carr was born on 28 April at Horbury. Little is known about his earlier years, but he likely learned construction and draughtsmanship from his father, Robert Carr, and set up his own practice in 1748. Unlike other architects who based their practises in London, Carr deliberately operated from York, but this did not diminish his contemporary reputation as one of the most talented architects of the day.


Inspired by the works of the Italian Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, Carr left his unique mark on Neo-classical architecture, offering his own distinct, pared-down Yorkshire style. Many of his buildings survive in York and beyond, and his influence can be seen in modern architecture too.

View our interactive map
View our gallery
Donald Insall Associates & Wentworth Woodhouse launches schools design challenge
Donald Insall Associates and Wentworth Woodhouse have teamed up to launch a schools’ design challenge to celebrate the 300th anniversary of John Carr, the North’s greatest 18th-century architect. To celebrate his achievements and encourage future talent, the architectural firm have teamed with Wentworth Woodhouse and nine other John Carr sites across the North, recreating drawings of each building – from the oldest surviving stone racecourse grandstand in the world to the iconic Crescent in Buxton – and deliberately left out one important element. 
The owners of these landmark buildings are each encouraging schools in their area to study Carr’s life – and task their students with completely redesigning the missing feature. Each site will work with us to choose winners from educational Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 at the end of June. The best designs will go on show at each site during the national Heritage Open Days festival in September. Read more here


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