Owen Browne Carter, architect and illustrator, was born in London in 1806. Very little is known about his early life, but from c.1824 he was living and working in Winchester. For the first ten years he worked for William Garbett, an architect with premises on Winchester High Street who, amongst other work, carried out extensive repair work on the Cathedral.
Carter appears also to have worked as an artist and some of his drawings were the basis of lithographs produced by Louis Haghe. He also spent a year in Egypt, exploring and drawing that country’s ancient sites for an archaeological expedition led by Robert Hay. Hay later reproduced some of Carter’s drawings as lithographs.
He returned to Winchester in 1830 and continued working for Garbett until the latter’s death in 1834, after which Carter set up his own business. He worked in a wide variety of architectural styles, and as well as working on new buildings he undertook repair work on some of the city’s historical buildings, including the Great Hall. His best known original design was of the Corn Exchange in Jewry Street, later a library and now Winchester Discovery Centre.
His connection with Southampton is threefold. In 1841 he took on as an articled apprentice, George Edmund Street, who in 1878-1884 rebuilt St Mary’s Church. In 1845 he built St Peter’s Church on the north side of Commercial Road. In 1848 he submitted plans in an architectural competition for the rebuilding of Holy Rood Church. His plans were unplaced, although their continued existence has led some people erroneously to assume that he was responsible for the rebuilding.

St Peter's Church, Commercial Road

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see also

Further reading:
The Art and Architecture of Owen Browne Carter (1806-1859), by Robin Freeman. (H/i)


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