Kenneth Barden
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Kenneth Barden
Kenneth Barden
Edwina Partridge Clarke
BuildingsSeaward Tower and Harbour Tower, Gosport; murals at Halifax swimming pool
Barden Kenneth 1924-1888 01.jpg

Kenneth Barden (1924 - 1988) was an architect, mural designer and painter in the UK. His tiled murals found outside and inside public buildings are examples of post-war public art. He was the principal architect for the builders George Wimpey and Co. Ltd. during part of his career.

Artistic career

He is best known for his murals of post-war public art.[1] He had qualified as an architect, becoming an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects. For part of his career he was the principal architect for the builders George. Wimpey and Co Ltd.[2]

In 1955 he was commissioned by the Hertfordshire and Essex Water Board to produce a decorative ceramic mural inside a Pump House in Sawbridgeworth that showed pump mechanisms.[3]

While working for George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, and together with J E Tyrrell, Chief Architectural Assistant to Gosport Borough Council, Barden was responsible for Seaward Tower and Harbour Tower, two sixteen-storey tower blocks built in 1963 on the Esplanade in Gosport. The surfaces of the tower blocks are covered in mosaic murals designed by Barden that rise the full 135 foot height of the buildings.[4] They were controversial initially but are now a tourist attraction. The tiles were produced by Poole Pottery.[5]

Barden was also responsible for two ceramic murals in Halifax swimming pool inspired by British pond life. The building was opened in 1966 and designed by the borough architects FH Hoyles and JL Berbiers.[6]

He also exhibited works in watercolour and oils twice at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, in 1969 and 1972[7] and at Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours exhibitions in the 1970s.[8] One of his paintings is in the collection at Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.[9]

Harbour Tower, Gosport, showing the murals by Kenneth Barden

Early and personal life

Barden was brought up in Huddersfield when he attended Crosland Moor School and then Huddersfield College of Art. His father, Harry Barden was a master printer. In 1947 he began study at the Royal College of Art in London, finally becoming an Associate of the Royal College of Art.[2]

He married Edwina Partridge Clarke and they had 2 sons.


  1. ^ Pearson, Lynn; Stamper, Paul. "Public Art 1945 - 1995:Introduction to Heritage Assets". Historic England. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b Dolman, Bernard (1986). Who's Who in Art (22 ed.). Art Trade Press, Limited.
  3. ^ "C20 Society moves to safeguard Halifax swimming pool and murals". Twentieth Century Society. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Tile Gazeteer - Hampshire". Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "carters Tiles". The Virtual Museum of Poole Pottery. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Ing, Will. "Campaigners call for 1960s Halifax pool and murals to be listed". Architects' Journal. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ Hallett, Mark; Turner, Sarah Victoria; Feather, Jessica; Card, Baillie. "The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle 1769 - 2018". Chronicle210. Paul Mellon Centre. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "Art and Antiques auctions". Roseberys, London. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Kenneth Barden 1924-1988". ArtUK. Retrieved 2020.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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