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Sir Herbert Baker

Architect Sir Herbert Baker is buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey. He was born on 9th June 1862 at Owletts in Cobham, Kent, a child of Thomas Henry Baker and his wife Frances (Davis). Educated at Tonbridge School he trained as an architect with his cousin Arthur Baker. On 21st June 1904 he married Florence Edmeades and they had four children: Ann, Henry, Allaire and Alfred. In France he constructed many cemeteries for the war dead and went on to design major government buildings in India, South Africa and Kenya and also rebuilt the Bank of England in London. His office was in Barton Street, just behind the Abbey, and T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) lived in the top room. His scheme for a memorial hall near the Abbey Chapter House was not taken up but he designed Church House in Dean's Yard in the 1930s, although that was bombed during the war. He designed the memorial to Dame Millicent Fawcett in the Abbey. In 1926 he was knighted and died 4th February 1946. The Dean of Westminster, who considered Baker the "architect of the Commonwealth" offered burial in the Abbey. Although the Royal Academy would not support this Sir Charles Wheeler gathered signatures of eminent men to back it. Wood from an old cherry tree in his garden was used to make the ashes casket and he was buried on 13th February. The inscription on the small lozenge stone is a little faint and reads:

1862
HERBERT BAKER
Architect
1946

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"High relief. The autobiography of Sir Charles Wheeler, sculptor" 1968

Owletts is now owned by The National Trust and is open to the public on certain days

Born

9th June 1862

Died

4th February 1946

Buried

13th February 1946

Field

Architect

Location

Nave

Memorial Type

Grave

Material Type

Stone

Sir Herbert Baker
Sir Herbert Baker
Sir Herbert Baker
Sir Herbert Baker memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.

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Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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